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Research : The future is female: More women are likely to buy online in the future than their male counterparts

  • Future of Online Retail Report reveals women currently shop online more than men
  • The future is female: More women are likely to buy online in the future than their male counterparts
  • Women more likely to be tempted to shop with retailers who offer loyalty schemes and money off vouchers straight to their smartphones

* The Future of Online Retail Report was conducted between 12th – 15th October 2012 amongst 2001 UK adults online looking at their shopping habits and influences.

To receive a copy of the Future of Online Retail Report please email A new report by* has revealed that women could be more likely to embrace increased online shopping activity in the future than their male counterparts. The Future of Online Retail report, which examines the online shopping battleground and the factors influencing purchase behaviour in the UK, has revealed some interesting differences in the shopping habits of the different sexes.

Gender Divide

When men and women were asked what they have never purchased online across clothes, groceries, furniture, beauty products, holidays, electronics and entertainment, 1 in 5 women (19 per cent) said they had in fact purchased all of these products online at some point, whilst just 13 per cent of men stated they had. The biggest gender divide appears when it comes to buying clothes online, over a quarter of men (27 per cent) said they have never purchased clothes online, whilst just 19 per cent of women said they have never done this.

When it comes to items men and women say they will never buy online in the future, women once again seem less inclined to say no to online shopping whilst men are more reticent. Half of women (50 per cent) 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, just four in ten men (42 per cent) say this is the case.

Table one: gender split on future online purchases

Items men and women say they will never purchase online Male Female
Clothing (e.g. a pair of jeans, jacket, dress etc.) 16% 11%
Groceries (e.g. Your weekly grocery shop) 29% 25%
Furniture (e.g. a sofa, bed, desk etc.) 27% 24%
Health and Beauty Products (e.g. skin moisturiser, lipstick, shampoo etc.) 29% 20%
Holidays (e.g. a flight or hotel to a foreign country) 11% 10%
Electronics (e.g. a television, microwave, DVD player etc.) 10% 16%
Entertainment (e.g. a CD, book, DVD etc.) 5% 4%
I think I will buy all of these at some point in the future 42% 50%

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) said this compared to just 32 per cent of men who said this would encourage them. Women are also slightly more likely to be tempted by coupons and money off deals, with four in ten (40 per cent) saying this would encourage them to choose one shop over another, whilst 37 per cent of men said this.

When it comes to technology such as apps, women are also slightly more inclined to download apps from stores that give them specific discounts and money off vouchers, 46 per cent of women said they would do this whilst 44 per cent of men said they would probably do this.

Duncan Jennings, co-founder of comments: “The Future of Online Retail shows that, in particular, women have really embraced online shopping and across various product categories are more likely to make purchases than men. Looking towards the future this trend looks set to continue with half of women (50 per cent) saying they plan to make future purchases across such categories as groceries, clothes, holidays and beauty products for example, compared to 42 per cent of men.

Whilst men may have traditionally been seen as the early adapters of ecommerce, women have clearly very much embraced it and are keen to take advantage of things such as apps that offer them targeted reward offers and money off deals. Retailers have clearly worked hard to get female shoppers onside and it looks like the female online shopping boom is set to continue.”photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

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