E-commerce study trashes gender stereotypes

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E-commerce study trashes gender stereotypes

Women are not the champion shoppers online, finds report.

Online retailing is reversing the sexual stereotype that women are champion shoppers, following the news that twice as many men as women shop online daily and are prepared to splurge on high-value items.

But men are less patient than women; only one in five men would give a sluggish website a second chance before turning to the competition.

These are the key findings of the UK Male/Female eCommerce study undertaken by web testing specialist SciVisum. 

"Surprisingly, men are the biggest online spenders, but the worry for e-tailers is that they simply won't tolerate any blips," said Deri Jones, chief executive at SciVisum.

"With less than a fifth of men prepared to give even their favourite website a second chance, the message is very clear: online shoppers are showing zero tolerance to poor performance."

The survey found that men are easily the biggest spenders, with 15 per cent claiming to have splashed out £5,000 or more on a single purchase.

Men are also more likely to take risks with online commerce, choosing to gamble and spend on expensive items ranging from cars to houses. Men are also less influenced by brands.

Women shopped online less frequently than men and spent less money, with only one in four women willing to spend £100 or more on a single purchase online.

The majority of women spend their money on smaller items, such as books, CDs, groceries and clothes.

Although more women (75 percent) than men (65 percent) shop online, men shop most frequently, with twice as many men shopping daily as women.

The majority of women (34 percent) shop online for special occasions. Women were found to have an average spend of only £77 per month compared with £101 for men.

Men also go for big-ticket items, with 38 per cent spending £1,000 on a single item, three quarters having spent more than £500 on a single item and 15 percent confessing to splurging £5,000 or more on a single item, compared with only one in 20 women.

Nearly half of women surveyed (46 percent) have never spent more than £100 on a single purchase.

Men and women appear to be adhering to traditional stereotypes when it comes to what they buy online.

Men are more likely to buy electrical goods, cars, financial services and houses. Women are more likely to buy clothes and holidays, and are more likely to use the internet for sending gifts.

Men are more likely to be online gamblers than women, at 26 percent of men and only seven percent of women. Similarly online gaming is a bigger draw for men than women; a quarter of men say they play compared with only four percent of women.

Men are also more likely to use online financial services, with nearly a third (27 percent) using them, compared with less than one in five (17 percent) women.

But men are far less likely to give a poorly performing website a second chance; 38 per cent of male online shoppers complained that frustration with sluggish performance has led them to turn off their computer.

Only one in five men would give even their favourite website more than a second chance, before trying out the competition or resorting to the high street.

The major gripe for male online shoppers is a website crashing (50 per cent) while women cited complicated registration processes as being the most likely to cause annoyance.

Men appear to be the bargain hunters of the online shopping world, saying they choose the online experience to try and get the best price for items, whereas women go online to speed up their shopping experience.

Men are also more fickle when it comes to brands. The majority choose to buy from unknown websites, which only a third of women are prepared to do.

For women who were willing to chance a non-branded website, security and price are the main considerations.
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