Friday, June 15, 2007

‘Digital Mums’ to the web

‘Digital Mums’ to the web

Three quarters (75%) of women with children under the age of 18 now regularly access the internet across the UK, marking a growth of 7% since 2005, according to new research.

The findings form part of a new ‘Digital Mums’ study from the European Interactive Advertising Association (EIAA), revealing insights into the digital lifestyles of Britain’s online mums.

The research highlights that 76% of the time digital mums spend online is for personal reasons and that online activities are becoming a valuable and crucial part of their busy everyday lives.

Keeping Mums in Control
The research reveals the wide array of websites that digital mums are using to enrich different areas of their life, from saving time, to carrying out research and making the most of online entertainment. 73% of British digital mums who use all media find that the internet provides what they want quickly and saves them time and 47% state that the internet helps keep them ahead of the game.

Mums in the UK are increasingly using the web as a reference point for their family’s health needs (an increase of 37% year-on-year). Their use of auction sites has grown by 33% and 39% of digital mums are now using price comparison sites.

Not ones to fall behind on local and national news and events, they are also researching and catching up via the web - 58% regularly visit news sites and 58% look for local information online. (7% year-on year growth since 2005)

Age Matters
The research also indicates that across Europe, the websites that digital mums visit, their online activities and shopping habits vary accordingly to the age of their children. Mums who use the internet and have babies and very young children (0-4 years old), are far more likely to visit family and kids websites (61%) and banking and finance sites (63%), whereas women with children aged 16-18 take time out to focus on film websites (49%), possibly a reflection of their family’s interests as well as their own.

Online shopping
Digital mums in the UK are even more frequent online shoppers than women without children. 94% of all digital mums have bought items online, spending an average of €1022 and buying 19 items in just six months. Across Europe, mothers of younger children are the most likely to buy online - 86% of women with children aged 0-9 years old bought a product or service online compared to 75% of women with children aged 10-18. This indicates that online shopping is proving a useful way for mums to get jobs done whilst saving time spent on the high street or in the supermarkets with their babies or very young children - something that is often seen as an unwanted challenge!

Entertainment Value
The research clearly highlights how British digital mums are developing a deeper involvement with online content in using the internet for relaxation and entertainment. There has been a 28% increase since 2005 in the number of mums who regularly listen to the radio online, a third (34%) regularly download music and 18% enjoy online gaming sites. Broadband penetration amongst all UK women has now reached 83% and penetration amongst women with children who use the internet in the UK has increased 49% since 2004.

Keeping in touch
Mums in the UK are also using the internet to engage with other people. The number of mums making telephone calls via the internet has increased by 300% since 2005 and 40% of mums now use instant messenger. They are also getting increasingly connected with tools made popular by Web 2.0: 24% regularly access social networking sites, 14% get involved in blogging and the use of forums grew by 31% – evidence of digital mums’ desire for personalisation and participation.

Media Multi-Tasking Mums
It also seems clear that once the kids are safely in bed, mums are taking advantage of the peace to tackle tasks online or use the web for ‘me-time’ as logging on in the evening is most popular – 65% access the internet between 5.30pm-9pm. Adept at multi-tasking, mums are also likely to mesh their media: 26% use the internet whilst watching TV and interestingly 66% of women with children do something less often as result of the internet.

Alison Fennah, Executive Director of the EIAA says, “For time-pressed, multi-tasking mums, the Internet is increasingly playing a crucial role in enriching their busy everyday lives. Not only does the Internet help mums maximise time and keep control of family life and demands but it is also proving to be a valuable networking tool. It’s great to see a bigger presence of mothers online and to see how the online community is meeting their unique needs.”


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