'Premium' or ABC1 women are embracing the Internet with new-found enthusiasm, spending more time surfing the web and less time watching TV and reading papers, according to research conducted by IPC Southbank.
The publisher of women's monthlies including: Marie Claire; In Style; Woman & Home; Homes & Gardens and; Ideal Homes, questioned more than 4,000 women, 70% of whom claimed that they could not live without the Internet.
Three-quarters of the women surveyed for the Web Wise Women report said that they spent more time online compared with last year -- to the detriment of TV viewing, cinema-going and newspaper reading, but not, said the magazine publisher, to the detriment of magazine reading.
The vast majority of women or 86% said that they shopped on the internet, last year spending on average £840 each. Top buys ranged from books, CDs, and DVDs to travel tickets, holidays and household electrical goods.
Over two-thirds or 68% used the web to research products before buying them elsewhere, with half browsing for clothes and 36% looking for make-up and skincare products.
Jackie Newcombe, IPC Southbank's managing director, said: "Broadband is making the Internet a much more convenient and attractive medium for ABC1 women. At Southbank, we'll be ensuring our websites continue to deliver to this audience and our forthcoming website for In Style and the new homes portal launching in May will become must-visit online destinations. The popularity of the Internet -- in particular with premium women -- is a trend no-one in the media and marketing industry can afford to ignore."
The most searched-for topics among "premium women" were travel, fashion, health, property and beauty. The top five online activities were subscribing to newsletters, downloading music, grocery shopping, sharing photos and participating in forums and message boards.
The Web Wise Women survey will be repeated every quarter
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