Men still outspending women online

online sales1Men continue to spend more than women online, with gender stereotypes playing out, as men dominate take-away food and video game purchases, while women spend more on fashion and cosmetics, according to the 2016 Sensis e-business Report.

Despite again spending more than women for the year, male spending dropped significantly from $6,500 to $3,600, while female spending was up from $2,400 to $3,100.

“The purchasing behaviours don’t follow gender stereotypes in all cases,” said Rob Tolliday, Sensis commercial director. “The number of males buying groceries jumped this year, with very little now separating males and females. And one in ten men are now also buying cosmetics online, which is almost half the number of women.”

Sensis surveyed 1000 Australian small and medium businesses and 800 Australian consumers about their online experiences and found that over seven in 10 Australians (71 per cent) made purchases online this year, up 10 percentage points from last year.

“While more Australian’s are making purchases online, they remain uneasy about using e-commerce. Hacking is by far the biggest concern, with 85 per cent worrying about their private information being stolen or misused and the same number worrying about their credit card details,” said  Tolliday.

Streaming services are impacting on device ownership in the home, with penetration of digital TVs (down from 70 per cent to 61 per cent), pay TV (down from 31 per cent to 27 per cent) and 3D TV (down from 17 per cent to 11 per cent) all going backwards this year.

“Netflix and other streaming services are changing the way we consume entertainment in the home. They also appear to be making us fussier. Satisfaction with home internet speeds has declined, with one in four now grumpy about how long their content takes to load,” said Tolliday.

Overseas purchases increased slightly, up from 21 per cent to 23 per cent, but local sales continue to dominate online. More than two thirds of Australian SMBs (67 per cent) are primarily selling to businesses in their local city or town, while only 2 per cent make most of their sales to overseas customers.

Of businesses with the internet 54 per cent now sell online, with online sales growing from 32 per cent to 43 per cent of their total sales over the past four years.

“While sites such as Amazon offer consumers more choice, the falling Aussie dollar has seen overseas purchases remain steady, with less than a quarter of online purchases being made on overseas sites,” said Tolliday.

“From a business perspective e-commerce is increasingly important as fewer shops have a physical store front and those that do have to battle with major overseas retailers who have landed in the key shopping strips.”

Overall, the most popular items bought online are airline tickets (up from 47 per cent to 53 per cent), clothing, accessories or shoes (up from 51 per cent to 57 per cent) and hotel reservations (up from 47 per cent to 53 per cent).

Not surprisingly, the survey found that people in regional areas are much less likely to have made online purchases. Less than one in five booked a restaurant online (18 per cent regional vs 35 per cent metro) and a similar amount booked a medical appointment via the web (20 per cent regional vs 26 per cent metro).

“While people in regional areas are less likely to make online purchases, when it comes to technology in the home, they are more likely to have a digital TV than their friends in the city, with ownership rates now at 65 per cent,” said Tolliday.

Access exclusive analysis, locked news and reports with Inside Retail Weekly. Subscribe today and get our premium print publication delivered to your door every week.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.