Women Drive Online Retailing

Published on July 29, 2010 | Comments: 0
Women spend more time visiting online retail sites than men and make a greater contribution to e-commerce in terms of buyers, transactions and dollars, according to comScore.

Women Visit at Similar Rate, Spend More Time

Women and men visit online retail sites at a similar rate to men. In the 15-to-24 age bracket, both 60% of men and women visit online retail sites. Both women and men start visiting online retail sites at a slightly higher rate in each succeeding age bracket, with women developing a slightly larger lead each time. In the 55-plus bracket, about 70% of men visit online retail sites, with closer to 75% of women doing so. However, women spend significantly more time during these visits than men. Overall, women spend about 20% more time than men visiting online retail sites. By individual age bracket, the widest disparity is in the 55-plus demographic. Men in this group spend about 60 minutes per month visiting online retail sites, while women spend about 80 minutes per month, a 33% differential.

Women Visit Most Categories at Higher Rate

When online retail sites are broken down by category, women visit most categories at a higher rate than men. The exceptions are in the traditionally male-dominated categories of computer hardware/software, electronics, and sports/outdoor, as well as music. However, none of these disparities is more than two percentage points (both computer hardware/software,18.5%-16.5%, and consumer electronics, 17.5%-15.5%. In contrast, women lead men by three or more percentage points in several traditionally female-dominated categories such as fragrances/cosmetics and department stores. The widest gap is in apparel (6.4 percentage points, 21.6% of women compared to 15.1% of men).

Women Buy at Higher Rate

In the U.S., women are more avid online buyers than men. For example, 12.5% of women internet users made an online purchase in February 2010, compared to 9.3% of men. Women’s contribution to e-commerce is greater in terms of buyers, transactions and dollars. In February 2010, for example, they accounted for 49.8% of the U.S. online population, but made up 57.9% of all non-travel buyers, made 61.1% of online purchases and accounted for 58.2% of online dollars.

Women More Likely to Shop Multichannel Retailers

There are also key differences in the type of online retailers that are preferred by men as compared to women. Regardless of age, men are much more likely to buy online at “pure-play” retailers (i.e., retailers such as Amazon and Zappos, etc.) that utilize a single sales channel to conduct business. For women, it’s a fairly even split between multichannel and pure-play retailers.

Capturing $5T in Female Spending

A new “female economy” will drive $5 trillion in incremental global spending during the next several years, according to a new book from Boston Consulting Group. “Women Want More” advises retailers that 1 billion women work worldwide, more than half of college students are women, and women control more than half of the wealth in the U.S.

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