SOURCE: eMarketer

April 07, 2005 08:30 ET

New eMarketer Study Sees Women Exerting a Larger Influence Online

Online Female Majority Is Projected to Grow, Forcing Changes in Content, Commerce and Marketing

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 7, 2005 -- Women make up the majority of Internet users in the US, and their online activity is increasing rapidly. As their influence grows, women will increasingly shape the way companies strategize their Web content, commerce and marketing efforts.

These are among the conclusions of a new eMarketer report, Women Online in the US: A Growing Majority, released today. Females now make up 51.6% of the US online population, and eMarketer projects that the female majority online will become even more pronounced over the next few years. By 2008, females will account for 52.6% of total online users in the US, according to eMarketer projections. In absolute numbers, that means that in 2008 there will be roughly 10 million more females ages 3 and over online in the US than males.

"While the ratio of women to men in the general U.S. population is expected to hold steady at least through 2008, that won't be the case on the Internet," says Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the report. "Cultural, societal and Internet business trends are combining to shift the balance more firmly toward women. Because of these factors, eMarketer projects that the female majority online will have a transformative effect on content, commerce and marketing."

Possibly the most significant impact will be on online retailing. In the offline world, women are said to influence more than three-quarters of household expenditures. That level of influence may not have been fully felt online yet, but it will be -- soon.

Women Online in the US is based on eMarketer's independent analysis of available data from leading research firms, as well as interviews with key industry leaders. Ms. Williamson focuses on key trends and valuable data for marketers seeking to tap into the growing female population on the Web.

Key points addressed in Women Online in the US include:

--  How large is the female online population in the US?
--  How quickly is it growing?
--  What can companies do to reach the growing female majority?
--  Will females drive future growth in online shopping?
--  How do females respond to 'word of mouth marketing' and viral
And many more...

"As more women are drawn online, their sheer numbers will force companies to communicate with them on their terms, in their own language," says Ms. Williamson. "The onus is on Web marketers, retailers and content sites to make sure they are thinking of women when they design their sites and their online marketing -- even if women aren't their primary target."

For more information on obtaining a copy of Women Online in the US, visit eMarketer online at

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