Study: At-Work Audience Makes Better Prospects

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At-work Internet users consume more Web media, shop more frequently, buy more and make the largest number of purchases online, according to a new study by interactive agency Avenue A.

Collected over a month, the study by the Seattle shop combines Web site behavioral data with online survey results to offer a snapshot of the at-work Internet audience. The survey collected self-reported information from 3,052 respondents on their use of online and offline media, recent shopping activity and demographic details.

"People using the Internet at work are 64 percent more likely to make a purchase online than people who use the Internet [only] at home, and they're doing that purchasing at work," said Clark Kokich, president of Avenue A.

The at-work Internet user typically comprises consumers ages 18 to 55. Annual household income of this demographic is upward of $75,000.

The survey found that e-commerce activity rose with online media consumption. As the number of hours spent by a person on the Internet rises, so do his online purchases and shopping activity. Respondents claimed to average 4.4 hours a day on the Internet. This includes 1.9 hours per day at work. Online media consumption exceeds television by 1.4 hours a day, or 46 percent.

The at-work audience's influence on e-commerce is not to be underestimated. Avenue A said that 60 percent of at-work Internet users have spent $100 or more online in a three-month period vs. 39 percent of home-only users. Twenty-three percent of at-work Internet users make 10 percent or more of their total discretionary purchases online.

Marketers and retailers should target this at-work audience for online customer acquisition campaigns.

"What our retailers are finding is that at-home is a very cluttered advertising environment," Kokich said. "Whether you're using television or direct mail, you're not competing with a lot of advertising images, you're competing with a lot of distractions of home life. So when you're at work and focused on your computer screen, you're totally engaged in the process of shopping and buying."

He suggests online publishers offer day-parting on the lines of TV. Prime time on TV is 8 to 11 p.m. On the Internet, it is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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