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.

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.


Fall 2003 Top Items Purchased
Singles Married
Student loans Drugs/remedies/prescriptions
Credit card Home improvement
Video game cartridge Computer software – educational
Computer software – games Gardening tools/supplies
Music CDs/tapes Toys/non-computer games
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings @Plan

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, 7of the top 10 online destinations were related to dating, including Match.com, which attracted nearly 84 percent of those surveyed. For married surfers, 6 of the top 10 online destinations were family-oriented, including Familyfun.com, which attracted nearly 85 percent.


Top Ad-Supported Sites
Singles Married
Match.com FamilyFun.com
TheSpark.com BabyCenter
Gay.com American Baby
Matchmaker.com Nick Jr.
Date.com iVillage ParentsPlace
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings @Plan

“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.

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