Euro 2000 forces women onto the Web

June's football caused women to switch off their TV sets and go and do something more Webby instead

Research published last week reveals that women made up nearly 45 percent of all the UK's home Internet users in June, up from 38 percent in April and May, and they're not shy about flashing their credit cards. Far from representing some seismic shift in the surfing habits of women, NetValue claims Euro 2000 forced them online.

According to research conducted by NetValue, 4.4 million British women logged onto the Web from home in June, out of a total of 10.15 million surfers. To the delight of the marketing men, 2.8 million visited an e-commerce site, although details on whether they actually parted with their cash are not available.

"These large increases in the number of female Internet users were mirrored in other European countries", according to NetValue marketing manager Jannie Cahill. In France, the eventual winners of the cup, the number of women who accessed the Internet in June rose by 20 percent to 2.2 million compared with May.

And while marketers figure out how to get more spendthrift individuals online, the trail of women's online clicks suggests definite and predictable patterns of use. Streetsonline.co.uk, the most popular e-commerce site visited by 16.7 percent of UK Internet users, attracted 18.6 percent of all women surfers, and nearly 60 percent of Lastminute.com's visitors were female. Expedia.co.uk, nwolb.co.uk (the Natwest online banking site) and tesco.co.uk also proved popular.

In contrast, Jungle.com attracted very few female visitors, and should thank the boys for its position as the fifth most visited e-commerce site, behind Streetsonline, Amazon.co.uk, Egg.com and Amazon.com.

Napster.com was the 42nd most popular e-commerce Web site, up 60 percent with 508,270 unique UK visitors compared with 300,000 in May.

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