Women have made a higher percentage of online purchases than men for two quarters running,according to a survey released Thursday by Greenfield Online.
The report indicates that sales to women outnumbered sales to men by 2 percent in the third quarter of 2000.
“There are a number of studies that seem to be saying the same thing: it’stime for people to come to accept that women are online and using the Internet as a convenience tool for shopping,” Greenfield online director of corporate communications Gail E. Janensch said.
Janensch commented that “men are the ones who are surfing,” while women use the Internet to “get in, get out and get something.”
According to the study, shopping categories that are popular with both men and women includebooks, CDs, airline tickets, clothing, and hotel reservations and travel.
Looking at the quarter’s shopping preferences along gender lines, men primarily bought books and computer software and hardware,while women bought clothing, books and CDs.Clothing, while second among online purchases by females, was sixth among men.
Meanwhile, the number of online shoppers remained level across most age groups, with only 18 to 24 year-olds shopping significantly less.
“Senior groups are one of the fastest growing groups on the Web,” Janenschsaid. “The churn on the Net isnt equally balanced — people are steadilycoming in and almost no one is going out.”
The Greenfield report was another signal for e-tailers that online experience matters.Sixty-eight percent of the survey respondents who had been online for onlysix months made a purchase during the quarter, compared to 90 percent ofthose with three years or more on the Web making online buys.
While online shopping received high marks for convenience and time savings, more than one stumbling block stands in the way of consumers looking to buy on the Net, according to the study.
Sixty-eight percent of the surveys respondents were concerned with online shipping chargesand 40 percent said the difficulty in returning items was a barrier to making purchases online.
Even so, over 80 percent of the respondents made an online purchase within the90-day period ended September 30th, and 44 percent made five or more purchases.
“Its a very optimistic picture at a time when dot-com industry is in aperiod of self-doubt,” Janensch said.
Greenfield Online’s quarterly tracking study has been conducted for10 quarters.
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