Could women be the future of online retail?

It may come as no surprise that the shopping habits of women and men are different – but it could be women that storm ahead when it comes to online shopping in future according to a new report.

Mindi Chahal

When it comes to items men and women say they will never buy online in the future, women are less inclined to say ‘no’ to online shopping whilst men are more reticent.

Half of women say they will shop online in the future when it comes to the likes of clothes, beauty products, holidays, furniture, entertainment, electronics and groceries. However, 42 per cent of men say this is the case, according to The Future of Online Retail report, done by

Female shoppers are also likely to spend more shopping online with particular outlets if shops offer them loyalty schemes that track their transactions. More than four in ten women (42 per cent) agree with this compared to just 32 per cent of men.

The biggest gender divide appears when it comes to buying clothes online: 27 per cent of men say they have never purchased clothes online compared to 19 per cent of women.

Insight and research, no matter how obvious the main findings might seem, could actually help brands be more effective online and could also be used to justify spend. For example, brands looking to target with deals and discounts would have more luck with women shoppers than men.

For marketers and insight heads taking note of the increasing choice to shop online, with consumers expected to spend more than £87bn online this year, the research highlights the fact that it’s vital not to follow consumers where they go and roll out mass market messaging.

For example, research shown to Marketing Week shows that mums are online at certain peaks throughout the day and their behaviour is geared towards social and sharing information, deals and discounts.

By using insight, brands can understand who is shopping online taking into account factors such as gender, age and lifestyle.

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