April 9, 2001, 12:00 AM

Women like convenience of web, aren`t visiting malls as often, study says

Most women believe the Internet`s convenience saves time and enhances their lives by offering them tools for communication, shopping, and receiving news and information, reports a study, contracted by MSN.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Most women believe the Internet`s convenience saves time and enhances their lives by offering them tools for communication, shopping, and receiving news and information, reports a study, contracted by the MSN network of Internet services and conducted by Millward Brown IntelliQuest. The study sought to examine how women, predominantly a household`s chief shopper, use the Internet and the Internet`s impact on the purchase of consumer packaged goods. In addition, the study found that the majority of women find the Internet helpful in making more informed purchasing decisions, affecting both online and offline purchases. As the primary decision-maker in household purchases, women represent a crucial market for advertisers. The study targeted women ages 18 to 54 and a special subsegment of mothers with children under the age of 3, a key target for marketers of consumer packaged goods. Among the study`s key findings:

New Moms
-- Online activity has replaced time spent on other offline activities; most notably, e-mail, instant messaging and online greeting cards are used more and are replacing time spent talking on the telephone and watching television.
-- 32% of new moms embrace the convenience of shopping online and go to the mall less often.
-- New moms, more than the general women segment on MSN, also seek expert advice and are more likely to visit sites devoted to family, kids and online games.

 

Women 18-54
-- 78% of women said they use the Internet to obtain product information before making a purchase.
-- Over 60% of women believe the Internet is convenient and saves time.
-- 33% of women research consumer goods online, then purchase products offline.
-- More than 60% of women click on banners to acquire more information, and 34% go back to an advertiser`s site after viewing the ad online.
-- Women are likely to engage in new online activities when experiencing a life change such as getting married, purchasing a home or car, or having children.
-- These online enthusiasts log on regularly (69% daily), and 57% have been using the Internet for at least three years.

 

"While it`s not surprising that today`s busy women are drawn to the Internet`s convenience, marketers may be surprised by the extent to which women look to the Internet for savings and information to aid purchasing decisions," said Jed Savage, director of national sales at MSN.

The study was conducted from Dec. 7 to Dec. 20, 2000. The general sample includes 2,222 women who completed interviews and were solicited randomly across the MSN network. A subsample of 936 new mothers was also collected.

 

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