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Women Use Internet For Research,
Not Play

Women are far more likely to use the Internet for research or information-gathering than for fun or entertainment, according to the Internet Research Group. More than half of online women (54%) log onto the Internet primarily to gather information or do research, while 1% go online mostly for entertainment.

Qualitative research indicates that women don't view the Web as an entertaining medium in the same way they view TV or even print publications. When they go online, women are likely to be seeking solutions to problems or tips that will make their lives easier. Many say they “don't have time” to read “puff pieces” on websites, including those designed for women, even though they don't express the same feelings about lighter fare on TV or in magazines.

When women shop online, their chief goals are to save time and money, and many are seeking specific product information rather than simply browsing. Nearly half of online women (47%) search for product reviews or recommendations on the Web.

Interestingly, despite women's complaints that they don't have time to read fluff online, a significant percentage read electronic newsletters from merchants (44%) and click on links e-mailed by merchants (30%). This suggests that informational online marketing may be effective, even with women who feel pressed for time.

Women are more likely than men to gather health-related information online, according to a separate study by Datamonitor. More than four in 10 American and European women (44%) search the Internet for health information, compared to under a third (32%) of men who do so.

The office is becoming an increasingly important place for women to log on, according to a separate study by Neilsen/NetRatings. Although male office users outnumber female office users, the number of women who use the Internet at work is growing faster than the number of men who do so. The number of female office workers who use the Internet at work rose 23% between August 2001 and August 2002, to a total of 20.4 million. The number of men logging on from work grew 12% to 25.3 million.

Women spent about 27 hours online at work in August, and logged on an average of 50 times. Online use at work peaks between 10 am and 12 pm, while usage at home peaks at 8 pm. Women outnumber men for at-home usage.

(Provided by: Marketing To Women, October 2002)


For more information about the data contained in this article please view these links:,,

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