September 12, 2002, 12:00 AM

Web access at offices, where most shopping takes place, is growing sharply

The active Internet population at work grew 17% in August vs. a year ago to nearly 46 million, Nielsen//NetRatings says. While men still outnumber women, female office workers were the primary drivers of traffic growth, up 23%.

 

Internet use at work is growing strongly, Nielsen/NetRatings reports. Given that most online shopping takes place at work, that can only bode well for the growth of e-retailing.

The active Internet population at work grew 17% in August as compared to a year ago to nearly 46 million, Nielsen//NetRatings says. While men still outnumber women, female office workers were the primary drivers of traffic growth, as the group grew 23% year-over-year to 20.4 million. The number of men logging onto the Internet from work rose 12% from last August to nearly 25.3 million.

Nielsen/NetRatings also reports that men spent more time, accessed more sessions and viewed more pages than women, averaging nearly 31 hours in August compared to nearly 27 hours for women. Men initiated an average of 54 sessions a month vs. 50 for women, while viewing more than 1,900 pages compared to 1,700 for women.

"While women long ago surpassed men in online usage at-home, historically the at-work web population continues to be dominated by males," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics, Nielsen//NetRatings.

Nielsen/NetRatings reports the following growth rates for at-work Internet connections:
January 2001-January 2002: 8%
February 2001-February 2002: 5%
March 2001-March 2002: 7%
April 2001-April 2002: 14%
May 2001-May 2002: 18%
June 2001-June 2002: 14%
July 2001-July 2001: 11%
August 2001-August 2002: 17%

According to hour-by-hour analysis from Nielsen//NetRatings, online usage at-work begins at 8 a.m. and tapers off around 4 p.m., with peak hours between 10 a.m. and 12 noon. In contrast, the primetime hours of use at home increase in the afternoon and hit a peak at 8 p.m.

"Web marketers are beginning to realize the consumer reach potential at work, as online usage at the office gains traction," Buchwalter said. "The strong presence of the Internet within the workplace makes the web a powerful complement to traditional media buys, where morning and evening consumption often dominates."

 

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