Internet influences purchase behaviour of over 50 per cent female internet users: Google

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | June 21, 2013
Internet influence was the highest for skin care (72 per cent); baby care (69 per cent); and hair care (65 per cent) products - Google India 'Women & Web' Study.

Over 50 per cent women who access the internet in India have said that internet research influenced their decision before finalising a product, Google India's 'Women & Web' study reveals. In terms of the most researched category and influence on final purchase decisions, internet influence was the highest for skin care products, with over 72 per cent of the surveyed women admitting the influence. Baby care (with 69 per cent) and hair care (with 65 per cent) products were the other categories that scored high in terms of influence of the internet.

Google India released a report titled 'Women & Web study' to understand internet usage pattern and its influence on purchase decisions of women internet users in India. The study was compiled by looking at search query data for top women oriented search categories in India and an independent online research done by TNS Australia, which reached out to over 1000 women with access to internet in India.

The research shows that out of the total 150 million internet users in the country, around 60 million women in India are now online and use the internet to manage their day to day life. The women who are online are relatively more affluent and younger. Three in four women in SEC AB are now online and 75 per cent are in the 15-34 years age group. Out of 60 million, 24 million women use internet daily. While 66 per cent women use internet from their homes, 33 per cent use it at cyber cafes, 20 per cent at offices and 18 per cent through their mobile phones.

In terms of top searched categories by women on Google in India, apparels and accessories was the biggest search category, followed by food and drink, baby care, hair care and skin care.

The study revealed that skin care, hair care, food and drink were the fastest growing search categories, with queries coming from mobile phones growing rapidly and accounting for almost 25 per cent of total query volumes in these categories.

Rajan Anandan

Rajan Anandan, VP and MD of Google India, says, "With the internet user base growing rapidly in India, it is heartening to see that the women user base is also increasing rapidly. With this report, it is clear that internet is empowering Indian women with easy access to information and helping them to make more informed decisions in their day-to-day life. The top generic searches and most searched brands reflect that women are heavily engaged on the internet and are using it to do online research before deciding on their final purchase for categories like skin, hair and baby care products."

In terms of online activities, email, search and social networking were the biggest drivers for women. Downloading music, looking for educational content, job search, watching videos and consuming news were the other top activities.

The report also indicated adoption of e-commerce by women in India, with one in four shoppers buying baby products online. Women also emerged as strong brand advocates - with 80 per cent saying that they recommend their purchases to other women and 25 per cent stating that they share it online.

Video on the web also emerged as one of the key drivers of internet usage among women in India, with women accounting for 40 per cent of the total monthly YouTube user base in India. Apart from music videos, TV shows and film content, beauty and fashion videos are popular among women on YouTube, reveals the survey. Education, health and fitness, home care & cooking were also rated among the top 10 video content categories of choice on YouTube.

The top searched brands by women in India in the apparel and accessories - Indian category were Fastrack, Tanishq, Fab India, Van Heusen and Chennai Silks; in the food and beverages category were Coca-Cola, Amul, Cadbury, Pepsi and Maggi; in the baby care category -Firstcry, Babyoye, Babycenter, Hushbabies and Johnsons baby; in the hair care category -L'Oreal, Livon, Tresemme, Sunsilk and Pantene; in the skin care and cosmetics category -Oriflame, Lakme, Maybelline, L'Oreal and Avon.

The study was compiled by Google India, by combining Google Search query data in India along with TNS Australia research conducted online of over 1,000 women in the age group of 18 to 65 years and industry reports. The search query data was compiled for a period of one year starting from April, 2012 to March, 2013. Other data sources include TGI & IRS.

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