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Saturday - May 20, 2000

Websites Target Women Surfers

According to the Star Tribune:

"Targeting the influx of women who surf the Internet, a growing number of Web sites promise to save busy mothers and career women time and money, with one-stop shopping for everything from birth control pills to house warming gifts.

Women make up about 50 percent of Internet users, and the number of women online jumped 32 percent between February 1999 and December 1999, according to a Nielsen report released this year.

And Web sites are looking to grab market share.

"Women really are just the fastest-growing segment of e-commerce shoppers and users," said Melinda Halpert, senior vice president of marketing for the Women's Consumer Network in Washington, D.C. It launched a site about a year ago to help women find good values on everything from disability insurance to child care to new cars.

Some sites, including WCN's, charge a membership fee; others offer free registration.

Some of the Web pages make passing references to men, but they clearly focus on women, particularly those who are pressed for time and responsible for shopping. But the sites acknowledge that women want to do more than just shop..."

Click here for the full story. [Link no longer active]


Ecommerce to Grow by 11 Million More Consumers
As the Internet continues to mature, so will consumers' shopping habits, causing online retail to spiral upward and onward. Eleven million more US consumers will take the eCommerce plunge this year, pushing online retail spending beyond $38 billion. According to the new Technographics Retail & Media Data Overview from Forrester Research, Inc, the result of this impressive growth is an online retail landscape where the Web buyers' profiles and the product categories they buy from are vastly different from those even one year ago.

"When we started surveying online consumers three years ago, Web buyers were a homogeneous group consisting of affluent males who used the Net to purchase software," said Christopher M. Kelley, associate analyst at Forrester. "As new Web shoppers -- who increasingly resemble the offline population -- become more comfortable shopping online, their Net spending habits will mirror those currently seen with experienced Web shoppers."

Two factors will promote the growth of the online retail market in the next year. First, Web buyers are confidently shopping across new product categories, with the most money being spent on researched products, including travel, computer hardware, and consumer electronics. Second, although the core of online shoppers are generally male, younger, and more affluent than the online population as a whole, the new Web buyer is more likely to be female, younger, and less affluent than more experienced online shoppers -- for the first time, more than half of new buyers are female.

Conversely, the fear of releasing credit card information remains the single most significant factor for online consumers who do not purchase on the Net. Nearly half of online consumers in the US and Canada have caught the eCommerce bug. Fifty-two percent of online households do not shop online due to fear of stolen credit card information and the distribution of personal information.

While consumers embrace new shopping options, they expect a stream of innovations, reasonable prices, and promotions to keep coming. Experienced Web buyers embrace online auctions, drawn in by the fun of bidding and the possibility of acquiring a great deal. Ninety-four percent of online shoppers are also concerned with unreasonable shipping prices, with 44% having abandoned an online shopping cart due to shipping costs.

Online consumers have opened their inboxes to marketing, with 95% of Web buyers receiving offers or promotions via email. Online coupon and promotion companies lead the email marketing race, filling the greatest number of inboxes of online shoppers and nonbuyers alike. Although consumers receive marketers' email, a full 32% of email targets delete most marketing messages before even reading them.

Web buyers have also grown more discriminate in the publications they read. "Online shoppers are no longer just techies who sit around reading Wired all day long," added Kelley. "Instead, the top three magazines they subscribe to include Readers's Digest, TV Guide , and Better Homes and Gardens."

For the "Retail & Media Data Overview," Forrester conducted two surveys about consumers' shopping and media consumption behavior -- collecting a total of more than 100,000 completed surveys. In addition to the completed surveys, Forrester also conducts semiannual Field Studies specific to the affluent, consumer technology, personal finance, travel, and young consumers markets. Technographics Retail & Media is part of Forrester's Technographics Data & Analysis -- the industry's most comprehensive quantitative research program analyzing how today's technology impacts consumer attitudes and behavior.

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