There are gender differences in online shopping behaviors. To motivate online commerce, online vendors have attempted to stimulate the willingness of shoppers, especially female customers, to spend more on online purchases. However, according to a study by Awad & Ragowsky (2008), women generally spend more time searching products online than men, but are less likely to purchase online. In order to figure out ways to address this problem, vendors need to understand the following:
1. What are the different shopping behaviors or habits between genders?
2. What are the reasons for these phenomena? By understanding the gender differences in online shopping behaviors, online vendors will be able to make necessary changes to increase their sales to female customers.
What Are The Different Shopping Behaviors Or Habits Between Genders? One of the differences is the amount of time men and women shopping online is not proportional to the amount of money that they spend. Recent studies have shown that women generally spend more time searching products online, and less likely to spend online (Awad & Ragowsky, 2008). This is supported by Martinez-Moncada’s (2011) statistic, which shows that men buy expensive items averaging $67.82; they spend significantly more than women, whose spend on average is around $51.84 (para.2). This situation needs to be addressed for both the online vendors and economic development for the reason that it is an opportunity for vendors, and is essential to raise the currently low levels of consumption. Another difference between men and women is that women are not as participative as men are due to women’s less satisfaction and more doubt with shopping online than in real store. Different online shopping intentions between genders exhibit different online shopping behaviors. Awad and Ragowsky (2008) have noted, “Women tend to be more emotive while men tend to be more realistic.” They also concluded that women are less excited about spending money online because it decreases social interactions when compared to shopping in physical stores. This is supported by the research of Rodgers and Harris (2003), which disclosed that women, compared with men, find online shopping to be less satisfying. Additionally, women tend to be more doubtful of online shopping than men are. As a result, enhancing communication and building trust for women customers are effective ways to increase sales to female customers. In addition, different genders have different shopping habits as well: men and women do online shopping at different times, even on different weekdays. Martinez-Moncada (2008) has found several differences between males and females about the times they shopped and purchased. One of the differences is that “women usually shop during their lunch breaks, when they have a nice rest-time in the middle of their workdays. However, men buy items normally in the evening, when they have more free time” (para.4). Another interesting fact, found by Martinez-Moncada (2008), is men do more online shopping on Mondays, while women’s shopping preferences are the same on average from day to day (para.6).
What Are The Reasons For These Phenomena? All of these differences mentioned above, the various amounts of money they spend, less satisfaction and more doubt, and the different time they shop online, and, raise an important question: what are the reasons for these phenomena? One of the reasons is predicted by genders’ different attitudes toward computers and money. According to a report by a psychologist Lester (2012), women show more anxiety about computers, and keep a conservative attitude toward money, which reveal their online shopping behaviors (pp.723). However for men, only the number of hours spent online is the strongest predictor of shopping online. In addition, women rely more on communication and contents on the Internet.