Professional Jeweler Archive: Portrait of a Web User

September 2001


Portrait of a Web User

He or she is a happy, social shopaholic with money

Don’t let the demise of all those get-rich-quick Web schemes sour you on the Internet as a business tool. Having a Web presence is good for your image and, as important, it conveys that image to the right customers.

Specifically, your message reaches customers who buy and initiate the word-of-mouth that causes others to buy. According to a new study conducted by Roper Starch Worldwide and Yahoo! Internet Life magazine, people who spend time online are:

  • More active shoppers. Seventy-four percent of those online visited a real-world department store in the past month vs. 61% of offline consumers. Those online are even more likely to shop in the real world for products associated with e-commerce; 36% visited a bricks-and-mortar bookstore in the past 30 days vs. 15% of offline consumers.
  • More confident. A whopping 81% of online consumers are optimistic about their futures compared with 66% of offline consumers. Plus, 87% report the quality of life in their neighborhoods is good or excellent vs. 77% of offline consumers.
  • More social. Sixty-five percent of adults online say they invite friends over at least once a month. Only 50% of offline adults do this.
  • Younger. The average age of online consumers in the study was 37.8 years vs. 48.7 for offline respondents.
  • More affluent. Thirty-eight percent of online adults have household incomes of $50,000 or more vs.12% of off-line consumers. And 37% of the online folks are college graduates vs. 11% of the offline crowd.

“Significant differences now exist between the online and the offline worlds,” says Scott Crystal, executive vice president and publishing director of Ziff Davis Media’s Consumer Magazine Group, publisher of Yahoo! Internet Life.

Online shoppers are also opinion leaders, according to Crystal. Not only are they good prospects themselves, but others turn to them for advice. In the past year, according to the study, 71% of online consumers recommended restaurants to people vs. just 51% of offline consumers. And 62% have provided recommendations about movies vs. 37% of offline consumers.

“They’re more influential,” he says. “They recommend more products to the people they know.”

– by Mark E. Dixon

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications