Women may be slightly outnumbered on the web compared with men, but their dollars aren’t. According to comScore’s “Women on the Web” white paper, women account for just less than half of US internet users but make up a disproportionately large share of online buyers, at nearly 58%.
Their share of transactions is even higher, with more than 61.2% of online purchases made by women. They also spent more than men, accounting for 58.2% of the total, suggesting men tend to make fewer purchases of bigger-ticket items, while women are more frequent buyers with a lower average order value.
Based on eMarketer’s forecast of $152.1 billion in US retail ecommerce spending for 2010, comScore’s research suggests women could account for about $88.5 billion in online spending this year, excluding travel.
In the US, women dominated most in the online market for fashion and jewelry, toys, housewares, books and other entertainment, and even video games.
Around the world, comScore found that women spent 20% more time on retail sites than men. Reach of most categories of retail site was higher among women, with a few exceptions: Computer hardware and software, consumer electronics, sporting goods and music were more likely to be shopped for by men.
A further difference in shopping behavior between women and men was in the type of retailer they frequented. Men tended to stick with online pure plays, while women were equally likely to choose multichannel retailers or web-only merchants. Women also make up the lion’s share of the audience for social shopping sites, group buying sites and limited-time flash sale sites, bringing together women’s love of shopping and higher participation in social media.