Feb 21 2012

How Women Spend Time & Money Online

Category: conversion rate optimizationTom Shivers


An old school of thought says that making it pink – whatever it is you’re selling – will automatically make it appeal to females. Thankfully, the folks at Mediative decided to study the purchasing power of women who use the internet, rather than just hazard a guess. They wanted to know who these women are, what they do, where they go and which trends are essential to online marketing success.

What they found were three distinct categories – young women, professionals and digital moms – each with unique needs and habits.

Young Women

86% of women under 30 have profiles on social networking sites. Young women are heavily influenced by consumer reviews, blogs, friends’ posts on Facebook and twitter, and mobile coupons.


Professional women tend to use the internet in their workplace, shopping online an average of 10 times a month, visiting social media sites 18 times a month, and casually surfing the web 30 times a month. The majority of a professional woman’s online purchases are made between noon and 1 p.m.

Digital Moms

Beyond being their own subgroup, when mothers go online, there are distinguishing factors influencing their behavior, such as the age of their children. Women with children under the age of 12 are more likely to use social networks than those with older children. Mothers with children over age 12 trend toward online video and podcasts. In addition, mothers younger than 35 are more likely to use mobile browsing while those 45 and older prefer informational tools like online reviews and consumer reviews.

Trends on what women are likely to do online:

  • Use coupons when trying to save money (68%)
  • Shop online when there are sales (49%)
  • Shop online for deals (35%)
  • Sign up for loyalty or incentive programs (33%)
  • Participate in group buying sites

Women spend 20% more time per visit than men on retail sites:

  • Comparison shopping sites (25%)
  • Apparel (21.5%)
  • Books (11.2%)
  • Department stores (10.6%)
  • Home furnishings (8.8%)
  • Cosmetics (6.6%)

Marketers must remember that not all women are the same, and that a woman’s online behavior is influenced by multiple facets of her life. Understanding which channels are best to reach young women, professionals and digital moms will help marketers to hone their marketing’s effectiveness.

Get Mediative’s full study with case studies, A Glimpse into the Online Behaviors of Women.


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One Response to “How Women Spend Time & Money Online”

  1. Matt Liquori says:

    Well said and well put together. This is going to help a lot of start up companies specializing in women’s products, those that take the time to read. Very well done and thanks for the help.