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Women more thorough online but men spend more: the changing dynamics of Generation Consumer


Retailers need to do the online basics well and focus on added value if they want to appeal to Generation Consumer

Men on average outspend women online by 44 per cent whilst spending marginally less time online shopping. Women by contrast value more ecommerce features than men and do their homework, making use of more devices. This is the key finding from the latest research from Tryzens, a leading provider of digital commerce and retail managed service solutions.

The Research – UK Online Shopping Consumer Preferences – with part one of the findings published last week - is the first major research project to explore the choices, experiences, preferences and behaviours of 1,000 UK consumers based on gender, age, income level and region.

The findings highlights a number of variances by gender and age in regard to online shopping preferences and activity. Whilst both sexes appear to prioritise spending on food, travel and fashion (in that order), men prefer to buy sportswear and event tickets whereas women prefer electronics and health and beauty products. The research also identified that monthly average online spend in the UK is £559.41.

Andy Burton, CEO of Tryzens, stated: “It is noteworthy that the general spend levels across all the retail verticals demonstrated that online shopping is truly seen as a practical and realistic alternative to in-store shopping, regardless of product/service type. In terms of online preferences, our research infers that women showed more of a bias toward looking for deals online and peer group opinions before buying. Men whilst also engaged in these eCommerce features simply did not see them at quite the same level of priority.”

Key findings include:

  • Whilst women consume a slightly greater amount of time shopping online than men, the level of monthly spend is materially higher by men (£686 per month vs £475 on average for a woman) and this position is consistent across most verticals, with the notable exception of food/grocery.
  • In terms of online preferences, women showed more of a bias toward looking for deals online, as well as for consumer reviews to inform purchase decisions. Men did not prioritise these attributes as highly.
  • Both men and women still relied heavily on full screen devices for online shopping with the laptop being the preferred device, though men had a notably greater reliance on desktops.
  • Gender was not an influence on the most important preferences that factor in the minds of online shoppers for a positive experience. Both agree the same expectation of ‘prerequisite experiences’ (product range, site speed, ease of use, delivery options).
  • Equally both Men and Women have the same frustrations about the top issues around poor online shopping experience (prioritising navigation, search, and website speed as key concerns).

The research findings also appear to illustrate a natural bell curve around spending by age, influenced by employment, family status, and income levels, all of which was reflected when reviewing online behaviour. That said, younger participants (under 25) that are already engaged in online shopping are much more engaged and spend a higher proportion of income online compared to those over 45 where the latter may be less comfortable and familiar with the pace of change of technology.

“Both sexes rely heavily on full screen devices for online shopping with the laptop still the preferred device, though men had a notably greater reliance on desktops. But don’t underestimate the rise of the smartphone. Our research found that the smartphone is now tipping the balance for 16-18 year olds and that is pointing to the future expectation of online shopping,” concluded Andy.

The first full white paper can be downloaded by visiting


About the research
In July 2015 Vanson Bourne conducted the first annual body of research on behalf of Tryzens Group to determine the level of consumer engagement in eCommerce across the UK and gain insights into attitudes and preferences in order to baseline current usage to plot trends over time segmented by gender, age, income level, employment status and region.

The research polled 1000 UK online consumers – 400 men and 600 women aged 16 and over.

About Tryzens
Since 2004, Tryzens has been trusted by retail’s biggest names as an independent expert to plan, implement and maintain eCommerce systems and to optimise retail performance through systems & services

Tryzens enable its clients to leverage efficient, effective and reliable retail solutions that carry the promise of a positive and unified experience that in turn delights their customers, builds loyalty and drives growth.

From concept to outcome, Tryzens offer a range of services to support our clients throughout their multi-channel development, whether starting in-store or online.

Editorial contacts
Paul Moore / Richard Merrin
Spreckley Partners
T: 020 7388 9988