What is Online vs Digital?

By Anders Björklund

What is Online vs Digital?

Often I get the question; what is the difference between digital and online?

My advice is that you shall always think through what you mean when using the expressions online and digital. Here’s how I like to explain the two terms. 


I usually try to explain online and digital in a simplified way:


Online means that someone or something currently is connected to the Internet.


Digital, meanwhile, is a format or a process. It describes electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data. Digital can thus be both online and offline—for example; a digital audio file can both be streamed online and stored on a disc or hard drive.

I have summarised it into a presentation (pptx). Check it out and feel free to download.

Download the presentation

Want to know more? Through our digitalisation guide: what, why, when and how to use it you'll find much more to read!

This article was updated June 21, 2021.

You can also read this article in Swedish on Onlineguiden.


Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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