Why Women Rule the Internet
By Aileen Lee
While few people could fail to notice the massive popularity of social networking and online shopping, what many do not realize – including some in the tech industry itself – is that the majority of social networkers and online buyers are women.
According to Comscore, women are the majority of users on social networking sites, spending 30% more time on them than men
Women have long been known to hold the purse strings (the US Census Bureau reports that women oversee 80% of consumer spending), but they are also the most significant drivers in e-commerce:
- 77% of Groupon customers are female
- 65% of customers on textbook rental site Chegg are female
- Zappos, Etsy, and Diapers are all driven by a majority of female consumers
Women are the majority of users on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter
- Women drive 62% of activity on Facebook in terms of messages, updates, and comments, and 71% of daily fan activity
- Women have 8% more Facebook friends than men on average
- According to bloggers Dan Zarella and Darmesh Shaw’s analyses, women tweet more, follow more, and have more followers on average than men on Twitter
Gaming, usually thought to be a man’s “sport”, is also a favorite of women:
- 60% of players on social gaming site Zynga are female
- A PopCap survey shows that women are the majority of social and casual game players, and that the average social gamer is likely a 43-year-old woman
In his analysis, Brian Solis has found that females are the majority of visitors on such popular sites as Deli.ci.ous, Flickr, MySpace, Classmates.com, and Yelp
Most of these statistics are not surprising considering it has long been understood that women are more social, more interested in relationships and connections, and better at multi-tasking
Consumer web companies that understand this will realize that drawing more female users will help the company grow faster, lower the cost of customer acquisition, and grow revenue faster
Companies should look at their product, marketing, and customer base, and if they think they might benefit from a larger female customer base, they should ask themselves these questions:
- What would you change to make your product/service more attractive to female customers?
- Do you do enough product and user interface testing with female users?
- Have you figured out how to truly unleash the shopping and social power of women?
- Do you have women in key positions in your company?
“Women are the routers and amplifiers of the social web. And they are the rocket fuel of ecommerce. The ongoing debate about women in tech has been missing a key insight. If you figure out how to harness the power of female customers, you can rock the world.”— Aileen Lee, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
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