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Differences Between How Men and Women Do Online Shopping

Research conducted by BI Intelligence found that although women typically control approximately 80% of household spending, they account for only 36% of recent online spending in the U.S. It is clear that women are using the Internet more now than ever before, but it is also evident that men continue to dominate many industries such as electronics and travel.

57% of women made a purchase online, whereas 52% of men made a purchase online.

Women were 4% more likely to use the Internet for purchasing than men and accounted for approximately 79% of all online spending by women in 2010 up from 74% in 2007. While men control at least $12 trillion annually worldwide, only 32% of those dollars are being spent on products or services purchased via the Internet. This is a clear indicator that women are currently dominating the online world, they are 4% more likely to make purchases through the Internet than men.

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Women look for discounted coupons on average 3 times as much as men when shopping online. However, when it comes to actually making purchases about 62% of women and 60% of men finish their shopping within a single session.

Most women prefer to do their shopping online in the evening and on weekends, however for men on average they prefer to shop during non-work hours which are generally early mornings or late nights. 42% of women will shop at least once a week after work, while only 24% of men engage in this behavior. This is an example of how the online world is becoming more and more dominated by women, which is a reflection of offline as well.

Women spend about 40% more than men on apparel during their first session. They will also make about 10% more purchases per year in this same category compared to men. However, when it comes to household products females still spend less than males.

Online shopping is becoming more popular among women and this is a trend that will most likely continue into the future. Many companies must take this fact into consideration when developing their strategy for online marketing both at the micro-level (targeting individual consumers) and macro-level (targeting groups of consumers). One possibility may be to have the online and offline versions of a company’s stores target different groups of consumers. This could provide opportunities for both slowing the decline in male shoppers as well as continuing to take market share from competitors that are not optimizing their store for female internet users.


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