Internet Use by Women Up in Japan

Even though women accounted for only 21 percent of Japanese Internet users at the end of 1998, a study by DSA Group predicts this will soon change.

Forty percent of all newcomers to the Japanese Internet market are women, DSA reports, and that isn’t the only change in store for the Japanese Internet demographic. The online population of Japan is also getting older, according to DSA, as more Japanese companies provide Internet access to their employees.

Although most Japanese Internet users currently access the Net from work, home access will rise as PC penetration and network connectivity ratios rise, DSA reports. Work-related activities remain the most popular reason for Japanese Internet users to access the Net, but entertainment is a growing motivator, fueled by the fact that women go online for entertainment more than business.

The DSA study also found that Japanese Internet users access the Net more often now than in the past, but the amount of time they spend online has not changed much. The cost of local phone calls was cited by many Japanese users as a deterrent to Internet use.

There were approximately 14 million Japanese online in 1998, DSA reports, and they spent 200 billion yen on e-commerce. Access Media expects the online population in Japan to grow to 27 million. The rising number of Japanese women online has already had an impact on e-commerce revenue, as has the increasing variety of items bought over the Internet in Japan, according to DSA.

The average online shopper in Japan spends about 35,000 yen per year (approximately $293 US), DSA found. Japanese users want a variety of online payment systems to experiment with, and are deeply concerned with the security of credit cards and other personal information. DSA also reports there is a core share of the Japanese Internet population that will not shop online.

February 26, 1999

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