Some 75 per cent of women with children aged between 0 -18 years old now regularly access the internet across the UK – a growth of 7 per cent since 2005.
The first ever ‘Digital Mums’ Report, the latest in the EIAA Mediascope Europe series, reveals interesting insights into the digital lifestyles of Britain’s online mums.
The research highlights that 76 per cent of the time digital mums spend online is for personal reasons and that online activities are becoming a valuable and crucial part of their busy everyday lives.
The research reveals the wide array of websites that digital mums are using to enrich different areas of their life, from saving time, to carrying out research and making the most of online entertainment.
Some 73 per cent of British digital mums who use all media find that the internet provides what they want quickly and saves them time and 47 per cent state that the internet helps keep them ahead of the game.
Mums in the UK are increasingly using the web as a reference point for their family’s health needs (an increase of 37 per cent year-on-year).
Their use of auction sites has grown by 33 per cent and 39 per cent of digital mums are now using price comparison sites.
Not ones to fall behind on local and national news and events, they are also researching and catching up via the web - 58 per cent regularly visit news sites and 58 per cent look for local information online. (7 per cent year-on year growth since 2005).
|Websites visited ||Women with children (2006) || Growth amongst women with children since 2005 |
| Health|| 37%|| +37%|
| Auction|| 56%|| +33%|
| Price comparison || 39%|| +30%|
| TV || 22%|| +22%|
|Banking and Finance|| 57% || +16% |
| Family and kids || 47% || +15%|
| Films|| 25% || +14%|
The research also indicates that across Europe, the websites that digital mums visit, their online activities and shopping habits vary accordingly to the age of their children.
Mums who use the internet and have babies and very young children (0-4 years old), are far more likely to visit family and kids websites (61 per cent) and banking and finance sites (63 per cent), whereas women with children aged 16-18 take time out to focus on film websites (49 per cent), possibly a reflection of their family’s interests as well as their own.
Digital mums in the UK are even more frequent online shoppers than women without children. Some 94 per cent of all digital mums have bought items online, spending an average of €1022 and buying 19 items in just six months.
Across Europe, mothers of younger children are the most likely to buy online - 86 per cent of women with children aged 0-9 years old bought a product or service online compared to 75 per cent of women with children aged 10-18.
This indicates that online shopping is proving a useful way for mums to get jobs done whilst saving time spent on the high street or in the supermarkets with their babies or very young children - something that is often seen as an unwanted challenge!
The research clearly highlights how British digital mums are developing a deeper involvement with online content in using the internet for relaxation and entertainment.
There has been a 28 per cent increase since 2005 in the number of mums who regularly listen to the radio online, a third (34 per cent) regularly download music and 18 per cent enjoy online gaming sites.
Broadband penetration amongst all UK women has now reached 83 per cent and penetration amongst women with children who use the internet in the UK has increased 49 per cent since 2004.
Mums in the UK are also using the internet to engage with other people. The number of mums making telephone calls via the internet has increased by 300 per cent since 2005 and 40 per cent of mums now use instant messenger.
They are also getting increasingly connected with tools made popular by Web 2.0: 24 per cent regularly access social networking sites, 14 per cent get involved in blogging and the use of forums grew by 31 per cent – evidence of digital mums’ desire for personalisation and participation.
It also seems clear that once the kids are safely in bed, mums are taking advantage of the peace to tackle tasks online or use the web for ‘me-time’ as logging on in the evening is most popular – 65 per cent access the internet between 5.30pm-9pm.
Adept at multi-tasking, mums are also likely to mesh their media: 26 per cent use the internet whilst watching TV and interestingly 66 per cent of women with children do something less often as result of the internet.
Alison Fennah, Executive Director of the EIAA says, “For time-pressed, multi-tasking mums, the internet is increasingly playing a crucial role in enriching their busy everyday lives.
“Not only does the internet help mums maximise time and keep control of family life and demands but it is also proving to be a valuable networking tool.
She added, “It’s great to see a bigger presence of mothers online and to see how the online community is meeting their unique needs.”
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