Honestly…when is the Internet going to be as ‘real-time’ as it purports to be? As someone who is contantly on the lookout for updated research data, for information on Internet usage, by gender, I am thoroughly annoyed with reports such as the one out of eMarketer this week: It’s a Woman’s Web. The report notes that women dominate the web, and suggests that, perhaps, we’re reaching a “tipping point.”
“In its early days, the Internet was a man’s world. People wondered if women were ever going to be ‘techie’ enough to come online. As late as 1997, males made up 65% of all Internet users,” so the report begins.
Truth is– women have dominated the web since 2002. We slipped over the 50% line way back then, and we haven’t stopped. According to the report being promoted by eMarketer, Women Online, “Females have long embraced the Internet as a communications medium, having shown strong interests in online games, health content and music, but now adult women, who dominate consumer spending offline, are shifting more and more of their shopping online.”
Yes, eMarketer, and anyone else who cares to listen…women like shopping online. So much so, that I wrote a book about it. I’m discovered that women are strong Internet users, and that anyone doing ecommerce should be considering the impact that women have on their bottom line.
Let’s look at some facts regarding Jane’s power online:
from Road and Travel online, “The facts are this; women purchase more than 50% of all new vehicles, 48% of all used vehicles, influence 80% of all sales, comprise 40% of all business travelers, influence 80% of all luxury and family travel, own 38% of all US businesses contributing $1.6 trillion to the national economy, and have now reached 54% of all Internet users.” Whew!
From the Center for Women’s Business Research, “Despite the recent economic downturn, more than half (55.3%) of women-owned firms with revenues of $1 million or more reported sales growth over the past three years.”
In addition, the center reports, “Annual expenditures by women-owned enterprises for just four areas – information technology ($38 billion), telecommunications ($25 billion), human resources services ($23 billion), and shipping ($17 billion) – are estimated to be $103 billion.”
So, where is Dick in this equation? Today, Dick is often standing by Jane’s side. Or, he’s advising her on her business processes and/or business finances. Dick shops online, also, of course, but not as much as Jane, and not with the focus Jane has for shopping. He goes online, gets his electronic toy or the gift for his wife/girlfriend, and goes on to other things.
Jane is a comparison shopper– as noted in January by Laura Rush, writing for e-Commerce-Guide. Her article, “Women, Comparison Shopping Help Boost E-commerce Holiday Revenues” revealed the truth about shopping online: “The e-commerce gender gap appears to be widening, as more women opened their purse strings than men last quarter: the percentage of purchases made by women reached 62 percent in the fourth quarter with men accounting for just 38 percent of transactions,” and it was written about the 2003 Christmas shopping season!
To get a glimpse of what happened Christmas of 2004, we need only turn to Businessweek online, which gave us this article, “Holiday E-Tailing’s Year of the Woman: Online purchases by women, already the majority of Web surfers, are exploding — and merchants all over cyberspace are taking note.”
So, why is eMarketer so far behind the times? Why is this news about the women’s market considered relevant, up-to-date, and current– when it’s not? Why is everyone still focused on Dick when Jane is taking charge! Pun intended– since women carry over 80 million credit cards.
If you’re into ecommerce, or know anyone who is, understand that Jane not only buys for herself, she buys for everyone else she knows! And, she recommends or influences 90% of the goods and services bought and sold in this country, according to the U.S. Census bureau.
You bet it’s a woman’s web. Online–Jane rules! That’s all there is to it!Powered by Sidelines