Recent study profiles the importance of women on the Internet

Is your target audience Women?

If the answer is ‘yes’, then you should pay attention to this new study by comScore.  More women than men across the world visit social networking sites and spend 30% more time per month using them.As such, in the “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet Internet” report, comScore concludes that women are the digital mainstream, a group of savvy Internet explorers who are more engaged than than men, and are the primary drivers of online and group buying. Nothing says “prime target audience” like being identified as a ‘driver’.

General Internet Activity

comScore analyzed the Internet behaviors of women everywhere and found that while women make up a little less than half of the global online population 46%, their online behaviors drastically distinguish them from male Internet users.  The detailed report covers  everything from women’s entertainment preferences  to search behaviors, mobile preferences to video-viewing activities they watch a lot of YouTube viewing.Women on the Web

Women and Social Media

On average, women spend more time online per month, 24.8 hours compared to 22.9 hours for men. But, when it comes to the social web, there’s an even bigger divide between the gender. “Nearly 56 percent of adult women say they use the Internet to stay in touch with people, compared to 46 percent of adult men,” according to the report.   comScore pinpoints higher activity levels in social categories such as social networking, instant messenger and e-mail. Those behaviors equate to women spending an average of 16.3% of their online time per month on social networks, a percentage that continues to rise month-to-month. Men spend just 11.7% of their time on the same activities.

Interestingly enough, comScore identifies middle-aged women, 45 plus, as the group most responsible for growth in social media site usage.  Fifteen to 24-year-olds, however, are the heaviest users and have the greatest reach. When it comes to Facebook in particular, the younger crowd use that site more than 350 minutes per month on average. That data seems to line up with an Oxygen Media study showing that more than a third of young women check Facebook first thing in the morning.  Country breakdowns show that  9 out of 10 North American women visit social networking sites, making them the group with the highest reach.  Latin American and European women have equal the level of participation in social networking, with 83.6% and 83.4% respectively.

Women & Facebook

Women & Facebook

Women and Twitter

comScore found that Twitter’s reach is only marginally higher among women than among men. Women also outpace men in the adoption of Twitter, but only marginally. There are only slight differences between men and women in usage of Twitter.  In a U.S. consumer survey conducted in April 2010, comScore asked men and women how they use Twitter.  Responses demonstrate that women use Twitter more for finding deals, following celebrities and their own self-defined purposes than to post tweets or read tweets from the people they follow.

Women and Retail

Men and women visit retail sites in practically equal amounts with women spend 20% more time on those sites. That time equates to more money spent in most retail categories, as women buy

Women Shopping on the Internet

Women Shopping on the Internet

more frequently than men do. Women spend significantly more money on apparel and accessories, with their dollars accounting for 71% of all dollars spent in that category in the U.S. for February, 2010. They also spend more on books and music, toys, and even video games and consoles.  comScore concludes that women are also driving growth on group-buying sites. They compromise a majority of the U.S. audiences on both Groupon 62% and LivingSocial 67%. Women also make up 67% of the visitors to Gilt Groupe’s flash sale site.

What do these findings have to do with Small Business?

EVERYTHING!  It doesn’t matter if you have a store front on Main Street.  It doesn’t matter if you are chiropractor in a small suburban town.  If your business depends on women and you are not on the web with something more than an outdated web site, you are leaving a lot of business opportunity on the table.  Heck, if men are your primary target and you’re not on the web in a serious way, you’re still missing a lot of business.  Can you afford to let that happen to your small business?

Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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