RealTime IT News

Researchers Solve Mystery of Increase in Home Net Usage

[London, ENGLAND] European market research company NetValue revealed Friday that there were 10.15 million home Internet users in the U.K. in June, an increase of a quarter of a million on the previous month.

Why this sharp increase in early summer?

One answer given is the effect of soccer tournament Euro 2000. But far from suggesting that soccer fans were busy looking up information about their favorite teams, NetValue has another finding.

While men watched football on TV, women in their millions logged onto the Internet instead.

In the U.K., there are now 4.4 million female Internet users who log on from home. In France the figure is 2.2 million, up by 0.35 million since May. While in Germany the 3.8 million female users account for 37 percent of all home Internet users.

There are other factors, too, that account for the increased use of the Internet in the U.K., not least of which has been access to free music. Recently doomed Napster.com, condemned by the courts, had over half a million unique visitors from the U.K. in June, up by over 0.3 million since May.

NetValue observes that the appearance of Napster.com in its top 50-popularity list (it was 42nd) "may herald a shift in popularity in the U.K. towards those sites that can deliver their products/services instantly via the Internet." Clearly, these users will now shift their attention to other, similar sites.

Of greatest interest to e-commerce managers are the trends revealed by NetValue in online shopping.

The number of female users visiting e-commerce sites in June grew by over 0.4 million users over the previous month, reaching 2.8 million users. Of these 2.3 million went on to make a secure connection with the apparent intent on making a purchase -- an increase of 56 per cent since May.

The top two e-commerce sites for men and women alike in the U.K. are streetsonline.co.uk, way out in front with 0.82 million women visitors out of a total of 1.69 million, followed by amazon.co.uk with 0.51 million women visitors out of 1.14 million.

NetValue uses a technology that records and tracks all applications available on the Internet, measuring not only the Web but e-mail, FTP, audio, video. It operates in the U.K., France, Germany, Sweden and the U.S., and has plans for expanding to 14 other countries by the end of 2000.