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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Men and Women Online

Wired has a pretty interesting article about the differences between male and female behaviour online. It's quite subtle and not always what you'd expect. This was particularly interesting to me:

"Male and female shoppers typically behave in opposite ways online and offline, says Marty Barletta, author of Marketing to Women. In brick-and-mortar stores, Barletta says, women are more apt to spend time browsing and men are more likely to quickly make a purchase. Online, that behavior reverses itself, with men likely to spend more time perusing and women tending to make a purchase quickly."

We've always assumed the web is a browsing tool for purchase research. I wonder if this fits with the experience of our female readers?


alyson said...

I think the reversal of consumer behavior online is due to the other three needs of women listed in the Wired article: more sources of information, a sense of connection, and better explanations. Sure, the internet provides a lot of info, but it's not always the right info. My guess would be that women make faster choices online because we've already done our purcahse research out in the real world, where you can interact with the product, sales person, fellow shoppers, etc. to get a feel for whether or not a particular camera, car, or Coach purse is the best choice for you. Armed with full product knowledge and local prices, you can then look online for the best deal.

Mnels said...

I think part of the answer is in WHAT men and women purchase online. Men more often purchase technology or financial products (requiring research) while women are more likely to use the web for replenishment or gift giving of known goods (price and convenience). Alyson is also right. After listening to women talk about purchasing electronics online, it was clear they prefer human advice first and use the web as a transaction tool.