Women of Color Research Products Online

Online information plays an important role in product purchases for black women, according to “The African-American Household Online,” conducted by NiaOnline.com. The research identifies how black women use the Internet and how it influences their buying decisions.

The report finds nearly 65 percent of African-American respondents often visit a product Web site to research a purchase; 58 percent of white women respondents do the same. Sixteen percent of women of color say their favorite Web sites have a major influence on purchase decisions versus 12 percent of white respondents.

“It almost goes without saying that the best way for marketers to reach households is through women. About three-quarters of both black and white women surveyed in the Nia Online Research Monitor said they are either the primary decision-maker for all decisions in their household, or the primary decision-maker for the majority of decisions (77 percent of black respondents and 74 percent of white respondents),” said Sheryl Huggins, Vice President of Information Services, Nia Enterprises. “However, black female Internet users have a more intensive role as the “gatekeepers” to a household’s coffers than their white counterparts. Fifty-seven percent of black respondents to the Monitor identified themselves as the primary decision-maker for all decisions, versus only 42 percent of white respondents.”

E-mail is another online behavior the report looks at. More than three times as many black respondents say they most often access the Internet from work; that’s 32 percent of black women versus nine percent of white women. Though black women access the Internet more at work than home, it’s business as usual when at the desk. They say they only send personal email 39 percent of the time, compared to 78 percent of their white counterparts. The report says fewer black than white respondents say they use email to share news about children or other family members. More black women say they are more likely to communicate about work-related issues and activities.

The report is based on an online survey of 1,700 women. In the survey, 48 percent identified themselves as African-American, 44 percent self-identified as white, non-Hispanic. Not included in the results are the eight percent who identified themselves as another ethnicity.

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