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European Women Surf to a Different Drum

  |  March 25, 2002   |  Comments

Jupiter MMXI has found an increase in the number of women online in Europe, but European men and women still differ in how they use the Internet.

Jupiter MMXI has found an increase in the number of women online in Europe, but European men and women still differ in how they use the Internet.

From February 2001 to February 2002, the number of European women online grew by 29 percent. The latest figures from February 2002 show there are 25.1 million women using the Internet in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain, compared to 40.1 million men.

Not surprisingly, the female Internet audience is largest in the more mature markets with Sweden at 46 percent, Britain at 42 percent, Germany at 39 percent and France at 39 percent, but it drops to 31 percent in Italy and 29 percent in Spain.

Despite their relatively small numbers, Spanish women spend the most time online, favoring instant messaging sites and file sharing, both of which are time-intensive applications. At the other end of the scale, Italian women tend to spend more time on mainstream portals like Yahoo and MSN and spend less time on applications.

The Internet is most popular with younger women in almost every market except Germany. German women aged 50 and older go online for more than 9 hours each month. Almost 4 hours of that time is spent just on AOL.

While European women spend less time on the Internet each month than men, Jupiter MMXI found they use their time more effectively – shopping, organizing travel, banking online and sending e-greeting cards. While men carry out the same tasks online, they also find additional time to browse, read content and download applications. In February 2002, European women spent almost 7 hours online compared to men who spent just under 10 hours per month.

British women spend the most time on grocery shopping site sainsburystoyou.co.uk, estate agency rightmove.co.uk, retail sites next.co.uk and marksandspencer.com. Other popular sites include ivillage.co.uk and ivillage.com.

The average British male Internet users spent the most time in February at downloading application winmx, computer retail sites dabs.com, jungle.com and pcworld.co.uk and travel sites airmiles.co.uk, flybmi.com and expedia.com. He also spent time on fhm.com and tabloid site the-sun.co.uk.

"To target women, Web sites need to understand what content and information will appeal to a female audience," said Michele Poliziani, author of the report. "Clearly sites that allow women to perform a function or provide information to help with their daily lives in some way are popular."

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