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Women outspend men online. (What a suprise!)

Women outspend men online. (What a suprise!)

UK women are finally putting their faith in Internet shopping and spending more money online than men - for the first time ever, according to a new survey by retail analyst group Verdict.

The amount spent online by a typical woman rose 71.4% in 2003, which takes the average bill for a female Internet shopper to £495 - compared to just £470 for their male counterparts!

As well as outspending men for the first time, women will also be devoting more time than men to surfing the net by the end of this year, according to the report.

"Though surfing the net has long been seen as a male-orientated activity, this is no longer the case for e-retail, and women's inclination to shop has become the main driver of online sales growth," said Verdict.

Mirroring gender stereotypes, the report found that women spent more on health and beauty, groceries, furniture and furnishings, clothing and footwear, while men bought more electrical, music and DIY goods.

Verdict's analysis excluded such purchases as flights, holidays and financial services.

"Internet shopping has always been seen as something heavily driven by technology and therefore as a male-orientated activity. What we see here is a maturing market in which the shopping patterns are moving in line with more general trends, where women are the biggest spenders,” said Nick Gladding, a senior analyst at Verdict.

He added, "Women have always been more enthusiastic shoppers than men. Now this pattern is asserting itself on the Internet as they become more confident about going online."

The online retail sector is growing at 10 times the rate of traditional high street shopping and the market is currently worth £4.9 billion.

Although this accounts for only two per cent of all retail spending, the Verdict predicts that it will triple in size during the next five years.

Sources: BBC Online, Telegraph, The Scotsman


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