|maui realtor - After years of slowly converging, the profile of the average adult American Internet user looks like the profile of the average American, according to online market research firm InsightExpress
The demographic shift -- from early adopters of new technology who are young, relatively wealthy and predominantly male, to average Americans -- is important because it validates the Internet as a mainstream marketing, advertising and research platform.
Though Internet users still have a moderately higher average household income, the Internet has been adopted by nearly every segment of the U.S. population.
"The most common criticism of the Internet as a marketing vehicle is that it does not reach the average consumer," said Lee Smith, COO of InsightExpress.
||"Our profile of the online consumer should silence that notion as it demonstrates the online consumer is now very similar to the average American."
The most noticeable demographic shift is seen among Internet use by gender. Female Web surfers have overtaken men in numbers in the United States, and are surging onto the Net in the Asia-Pacific region. Other trends show that women are more efficient in their Web behavior than men, and are showing an increasing willingness by women to purchase online.
According to Nielsen//NetRatings' data compiled in May 2001, women now make up 52 percent of the total at-home U.S. Web population, which mirrors the offline population.