Whoever coined the marketing phrase “bored housewife” would probably be lynched if he were ever to expose himself to the internet world. I say “himself” with intent as no women would surely have used a phrase of this kind. A phrase which has been used countless number of times to describe a demographic of females who use a computer or the internet in some way or another.
This phrase typifies the level of stereotyping and male dominance amongst the internet and perhaps still in today’s society. Why not the bored “househusband” or indeed, why use bored at all?
Perhaps it used to be the case that people, or more particularly women, only used the internet if they had time to spare and no idea of how to fill it. Or perhaps women were described as bored because they were “apparently” at home all day while the husband was “supposedly” at work smoozing with the boss, or some ghastly client in order to gain a career boost or salary increase.
However, as the world changes so does the demographic of people using the internet. The vast amount of possibilities available online has brought a wider audience and in particular, a wider scope of female user. Women are being targeted more so by online businesses where they are seen to be key to the level of trust that an online or e-commerce site needs to build its business upon. To again use a cliché, women are said to hold the purse strings in many relationships. However, it is now proven that they are also more likely to research and seek reviews of products or services before purchase. And where better to do this than the internet.
Internet statistics show that women are currently dominating the online industry in terms of page views and variation of product purchase. Take healthcare as an example. Of the 66% of women in America who go online, 74% of these research health topics. The potential for marketing to these sites is there to be seen.
Take online bingo gaming also for example, where women are shown to make up to around 70% of the customer base to sites like Chit Chat online bingo or casual gaming sites, where women are said to provide the fastest growth area (some 65%) in a market where the turnover is said to be around £2 billion in the UK alone.
Or take the online travel market which is said to be around £5 billion in the UK and $60 billion in the US. Again which 60% of the customer base are women, intent on using these sites as a serious guide to purchasing hotels, travel and accommodation.
So it is clear that the women who frequent the aforementioned sites cannot be bracketed as bored housewives.
So how better to describe this demographic in today’s world?
Women who use the internet are being taken as a demographic with serious commercial opportunities, not just because they like to use shopping or e-commerce sites, but because they visit a plethora of other sites which offer a product, a service or review, and potentially some other for of entertainment.
This is due to their apparent diligence and sense of commercial awareness in researching and gathering data and being more responsible before letting go of their hard earned money.
It was previously thought that men had a better understand of computers and the internet and were therefore more likely to use one. However, this has changed as 80% of households in the UK will own a computer by the end of 2007 and 65% of home users will be female.