Online And Married With Cash

Who says married people don’t have more fun? According to New York City-based Nielsen//NetRatings , they certainly spend more money online than their single counterparts.

In a report released this week, Internet audience survey firm Nielsen//NetRatings analysts indicated that while the e-commerce industry continues to boom, married Web surfers have been found to make more online purchases than single surfers. The news came on the cusp of the holiday shopping season, traditionally a popular time for e-commerce purchases.

Not surprisingly, analysts also noted that while married surfers spend much of their time online visiting family-oriented sites, single surfers seek to benefit from the social convenience of the Web.

“For married surfers, the Web seems to be a far more functional rather than recreational resource,” said Jason Levin, an Internet analyst with the company. “When children are worked into the equation for oft-overly extended married individuals, the convenience of online shopping can’t be beat.”

As Levin explained, more than 52 percent of married surfers made an online purchase during the last six months, as compared to only 47 percent of single surfers over the same time. Top items purchased by married surfers were related to home life, such as garden supplies and educational software. For single surfers, online purchases concentrated on entertainment and financial services.

What’s more, the report indicated that top destinations among single and married surfers revealed lifestyle variations that generally are true in the offline world. For single surfers, seven of the top ten online destinations were related to dating, including Marth.com, which attracted nearly 84 percent of those surveyed. For married surfers, six of the top ten online destinations were family-oriented, including Familyfun.com, which attracted nearly 85 percent.

“Given the central role that marriage plays in many people’s lives, it’s clear that divergent interests in the offline world are consistent with behavior in the online world,” Levin noted.

Nielsen//NetRatings also found that single surfers spend far more time online than married surfers, based on data compiled from the top ten sites for Web users in both categories. According to the report, single surfers spent more than 46 minutes online per month nearly 70 percent more than the 32 minutes their married counterparts spend online. The report also indicated that single surfers visited an average of 113 Web pages per month 216 percent more than the 52 sites visited each month by married surfers.

The Nielsen//NetRatings report was the Fall 2003 installment of the company’s @Plan program. The next @Plan report is scheduled to be released in January.

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