Online purchases are up dramatically over the past three years and now an
estimated 43 million users are clicking to Web sites with their credit cards
in hand, according to research firm NetSmart.
And more and more of them are women.
Seventy percent of online consumers reported completing online transactions
last year, up from only 25% in 1995, according to Bernadette Tracy, founder
and president of NetSmart in New York City. Tracy cited a direct correlation
between the number of credit card transactions and the length of time users
have been going online.
The findings of NetSmart’s most recent research report entitled “e-Commerce:
Internet Users Mean Business,” were announced during a recent “Conversations
With. . . ” breakfast seminar hosted by Women in New Media (WIN), a non-profit
organization for women in the new media industry.
“At first we were concerned that online shopping would be seen as a passing
fad,” said Tracy. “Newbies, or first-time shoppers, initially view the
Internet as a toy. But as the novelty wears off, the Internet becomes a time-
saving tool used increasingly by time-starved women. Although male usage has
begun to plateau, women are flocking to the Internet, citing convenience and
ease as their primary motivations for purchasing online.”
The NetSmart report shows that although online consumers typically do not
purchase high-ticket items, nearly 63% of them decide what they will buy while
“Few marketers are exploiting this gold mine to its fullest,” Tracy added.
“Nearly 55% of Internet users will be female by the year 2001, and 70% of
women are currently paying all monthly bills for their household. This
provides marketers with a unique opportunity to leverage the Internet as a
tool to convert interested visitors into satisfied customers. Online success
is more a question of bonding than it is of branding.”
“Conversations With. . . “, one of many enrichment events hosted by WIN in New
York, was created to offer female executives the opportunity to have
informative discussions with the technology and new media industry’s top
figures. The next conversation will be held Sept. 22 with Dorothea Palsho,
president of Dow Jones Interactive Publishing.