That’s according to a new report from ComScore called Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet. The study shows that women spend 20% more time on retail websites overall than men. Not surprisingly, they lead in sales in every category except Computer Hardware/Software, Electronics, Sports/Outdoor and Music to a smaller extent. Movies is near even but when it comes to shopping for clothing online it’s women by a large margin.
Though women have been known to enjoy window shopping, in most cases they are actually spending. The ComScore report states:
“In February 2010, [women] accounted for 49.8 percent of the U.S. online population, but made up 57.9 percent of all non-travel buyers, made 61.1 percent of online purchases and accounted for 58.2 percent of online dollars.”
So shopping is popular, but that’s not all women are doing on the web. They’re managing their money online, they’re playing games and they’re dominating social media. The report goes on to say that many advertisers wrongly assume that women’s magazines, celebrity and baby sites are the top online hang-outs for women. But women are also the primary visitors to pet care, health and spiritualism sites. If you have something edgy to sell, the numbers also indicate that women are only slightly behind the men on gambling sites and there’s less of a gap than you would think when it comes to adult entertainment.
Speaking of entertainment, women find gaming online highly engaging particularly when it comes to puzzles, card and social network games. Men only dominate in the action and sports game arenas.
If you’re thinking of hitching your ad to an online video star, note that about the same number of US men and women watch videos, but men spend more time watching by a large margin. Women preferred short YouTube videos but that could be because we’re too busy shopping and networking online to sit for a whole movie.
When it comes to the future of online shopping, the ComScore report noted a huge increase in interest in group buying and “flash sales” sites which they attribute to the fact that they’re a mix of shopping and social networking.
“The rise of social networking has prompted women of all ages to engage in a host of associated online activities, such as photo-sharing, gaming, video viewing and instant messaging. All of these activities have benefited from their linkage with Social Networking sites in terms of their ability to attract new female users. Social retail, especially since it combines two activities that are already firmly in the mainstream of women’s Web activity, may be the next frontier in this evolution.”
If you go with that theory, then Twitter’s new Early Bird program should be a sure winner.
Does gender play a role in your marketing plan? We’d like to hear about it.