Sorry, this isn’t about what you thought it was about. I found this interesting article in Wired that talked about the differences between how men and women use the Internet. One consultant had suggestions for websites that wanted to attract more women. This is what she suggested these websites work on:
More sources of information: Typically, women have a longer wish list of what they want from a website than men, says Johnson. Preferences include having information put in the context of a story and getting information on a topic from multiple sources in one place. These are qualities men like, too, Johnson says, but about which women are usually pickier.
A sense of connection: Websites and online advertisers appeal more to women when they create an emotional connection, says Catherine Stellin, vice president of research at The Intelligence Group, a marketing consultancy. That doesn’t mean bonding with the Energizer bunny. It’s a bit more subtle, says Stellin, who cites as an example financial-planning companies that include profiles of executives or successful retirees in their ad campaigns.
Time-saving features: Male and female shoppers typically behave in opposite ways online and offline, says Marty Barletta, author of Marketing to Women. In brick-and-mortar stores, Barletta says, women are more apt to spend time browsing and men are more likely to quickly make a purchase. Online, that behavior reverses itself, with men likely to spend more time perusing and women tending to make a purchase quickly.
Better explanations: Barletta has much disdain for the way automobile and PC sites sell their wares. Her primary objection is that most presume a prospective customer already understands the technical details of the product she’s eyeballing. In reality, customers may not know whether it’s worth paying extra for a 1.7-GHz PC over a 1.4-GHz model, or why axle ratio is important. “They assume an engineer’s knowledge,” Barletta said.
Overall, women outpace men in a small number of online areas, including health, medicine and religion, according to Pew Research Center. Women, according to Pew analyst Deborah Fallows, are also more likely to use the internet for e-mail, maps and getting directions.
Interesting. Of course, I can’t speak for all men, and even more certainly, not for women, but I do find that what she says about men applies to me in many cases. I do tons of obsessive research before buying anything online. Anyone who reads this blog knows that 😛 I definitely don’t understand all of the stuff that is written on car-selling websites, but I will take the time to look up terms that I don’t understand, because I’m interested in knowing what they mean. But, if I go into a store, I will usually buy something quickly, based mostly on how I feel about it (quality, appearance, etc.), or quickly decide not buy anything, and get the hell out of there. Shopping trips with me don’t take long.
I’m pretty indifferent about the “personal connection” to websites. I don’t much care about the people behind the sites. The content matters much more to me.
On the other hand, I agree with the female side when it comes to the number of information sources a web site quotes. My journalism background makes me value multiple sources of information. If I only have one source, I don’t always feel like I’m getting the whole story, especially if someone’s trying to sell something to me. I appreciate the effort put into finding multiple sources, and using them to create context for information. Notice that I was too lazy to find more sources of information than the single Wired article for this entry? Sorry ladies.