Women Age 18-29 Lead All Other Consumers in Internet Use

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, May 2006 | Go to article overview

Women Age 18-29 Lead All Other Consumers in Internet Use


While about two thirds of women (66%) and men (68%) overall are online, young women age 18-29 (86%) are more likely than their male counterparts (80%) to be online, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Among older adults, men are more likely to be online (see chart on page 9).

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Black women are significantly more likely than Black men to be online, due to a 30% increase in the number of Black women using the Internet in the past three years. Black men's Internet use grew only 4% in the same period. Parents are more likely than non-parents to be online, and married adults are more likely than singles to be online (see chart on page 9).

Women and men are about equally likely to go online from home (87% of women and 89% of men) and work (66% and 65%), but men go online more frequently during the day than women do. Women and men are equal participants in most online activities, such as using search engines, looking for travel information, job searches, research for school, shopping, and banking.

Women are more likely than men to use the Internet for getting maps or directions (87% of women and 82% of men), looking up health or medical information (74% of women and 58% of men), developing or displaying photos (35% of women and 31% of men), and getting religious or spiritual information (34% of women and 25% of men).

Women are also more active users of online communications, such as e-mail (94% of women versus 88% of men use it, as of September 2005), instant messaging (48% of women and 46% of men), e-cards or invitations (44% and 41%), and text messaging (37% and 33%).

Women (24%) are more likely than men (19%) to feel overloaded by the amount of information they're surrounded by online, even though the majority (65% of women and 70% of men) say they like having lots of information.

As was true in previous years' studies, women are more likely than men to appreciate the communication-oriented aspects of the Internet, while men are more likely to appreciate it for work- and hobby-related uses.

Meanwhile, women now account for 58% of total online spending, and complete more online transactions than men do, according to comScore Networks research for Resource Interactive. Resource Interactive's own qualitative studies show that women feel entertained by shopping in bricks-and-mortar stores--which they view as an important social ritual and also as a sensory experience that offers new discoveries--and empowered by online shopping.

Men, on the other hand, feel powerless and overwhelmed--like prey--when shopping in stores, but powerful and triumphant when shopping online. For men, the Internet brings the advantage of competitive information.

For women, the sense of empowerment online comes not from beating an invisible foe (as it does for men), but from conquering tasks, time constraints, and personal limitations. Women appreciate having the ability to browse and buy at their own pace online, but they feel more pressured to buy when they're in stores. Women enjoy the ability to explore offered by online shopping; they take three times as many tangents as men do. …

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Women Age 18-29 Lead All Other Consumers in Internet Use
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