Women Joining E-Commerce Craze

Forget about that old theory that said women use the Internet primarily for community, a new survey done by Bruskin/Goldring Research for Clinique shows that women use the Internet to shop just as often as men do.

The study found there is little difference between men and women when it comes to shopping via the Internet. Both men and women are turning to the Internet in increasing numbers; 21 percent of those with Internet access said they plan to make purchases online this holiday season, compared to only 11 percent last year.

Earlier research by Jupiter Communications found that 35 percent of the Internet population made an online purchase in the past year.

Key findings in the Clinique-Bruskin/Goldring survey include:

  • The percentage of men vs. women with Internet access who have purchased online is roughly the same: 35 percent of women, 37 percent of men
  • While female buyers tend to purchase more basic items such as books and music, they tend to buy in higher quantities
  • The highest percentage of women shoppers (18 percent) report spending $100 to $200 per purchase, while the highest percentage of male shoppers (26 percent) spent $25 to $50.
  • Among women, 52 percent who shop online prefer to do it after 5 p.m. and 20 percent after 8 p.m. Similarly, 47 percent of men shop after 5 p.m., while 19 percent shop after 8 p.m.
  • Security of Internet transactions is still an important issue with both men and women. Of men, 79 percent said credit card transactions must be secure, while 77 percent of women said the same
  • Men are more likely to buy computer software (54 percent of men vs. 37 percent of women) and hardware (25 percent of men vs. 19 percent of women), but other products are purchased equally by both sexes, including books, music, and airline tickets

The results were based on a survey of 1,016 Americans males and females ages 18 and older, of whom 28 percent have Internet access. Interviews were done in October of 1998.

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