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It’s official – men shop more than women!

thinkTRIBE study reveals men shop most often online – but eTailers beware, men are quickest to abandon sluggish websites

Twice as many men as women shop online daily and are the biggest spenders, with 38% spending £1000/15% spending £5000 or more on a single purchase. Stereotypically, men are the most likely to take risks online, choosing to gamble and to splurge on expensive items ranging from cars to houses. Men are also less influenced by brands.

Men are more prone to “web rage”, being the least tolerant of poorly performing websites. Only one in five would give a sluggish website a second chance before turning to a competitor.

Whereas 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 instead spend their money on smaller items such as books, CDs, groceries and clothes.

These are the key findings of the Male Versus Female eCommerce study undertaken across the UK by web testing specialist thinkTRIBE. Whilst 75% are now shopping online, eTailers are warned they could lose customers of both sexes if they don’t address performance issues surrounding website crashes and complicated registrations processes.

Men shop more than women

Men, we are told, have always shopped differently to women. But when it comes to online shopping do the usual stereotypes hold up? We sought to find out with our recent Male/Female eCommerce Study of 1000 people nationwide.

Twice as many men go online daily to purchase items. And these items can be of a far higher value than typical female purchases. Men also seemed less influenced by brands and less tolerant towards poorly-performing sites.

So who’s buying what?
Both men and women appear to adhere to traditional stereotypes when it comes to shopping online. Men are more likely to buy electrical goods, cars, financial services and houses while women seek out clothes and holidays. Women are also more likely to use the Internet for sending gifts. 71% of men and 54% of women are happy to make single purchases greater than £500.As high as 38% of men, however, will take this over the £1000 mark. For purchases over £5000, these figures fall to 15% men and 6% women.

Men are six times as likely to be online gamblers as women. 26% admitted to using the Internet to bet online. Other interesting stats include 27% of men using the Internet for financial services versus only 17% women.

Why do they shop online?
Again we found differences when we looked at the reasons men and women shop online. Men appear to be the bargain hunters, saying they choose the online way to try to get the best prices, whereas women go online to speed up their shopping experience.

Women rated crowded stores as a major turn off when they were high street shopping. This seemed to be the biggest influence behind their decision to shop online, whereas fuel prices and busy roads are more likely to persuade men to search the web. For those who prefer to stick to the high street, currently avoiding online shopping altogether, friends bragging about their bargains would be the main motivator to go online. Men are more fickle when it comes to brand loyalty, with the majority happy to buy from unknown websites; only a third of women were prepared to do so. For women who were willing to chance a non-branded website, security and price were the main considerations.

A second chance? Not with men!
78% of online shoppers complained that frustration with website performance has led them at one time or another to stop in mid-transaction. But it’s the men in particular who are most likely to pull the plug. Only one in five men would give even their favourite website more than a second chance, before going elsewhere. The major gripe for male online shoppers is a website crashing (50%) whilst women cited complicated registration processes as being the most likely to cause annoyance.

The most common frustration, cited by more than half of online shoppers, was the inability to ask questions by telephone. Other irritations include the technical performance of specific user journeys. Usability issues also rank among the top contenders for annoyance, with complicated registration processes (47%) the inability to find information (46%) and amend orders (45%) all being named as major annoyances.

With less than half of online shoppers nationwide prepared to give their favourite website more than two chances to get it right, the message to eTailers is very clear” says Deri Jones, CEO, thinkTRIBE. “Online shoppers are showing near zero tolerance to poor performance – and eTailers must address these problems if they’re to avoid losing their customers to competitors or chasing them back to the high street.”