Women's shopping habits online

What is it about online stores that is so alluring? Why does it feel like we haven’t actually spent the money, but instead are receiving presents in the mail a few days later? How, when research would suggest the general population is becoming more ‘financially savvy’ - read not spending their hard earned dollars in store, do online stores remain so tempting and successful? Online coupons play a vital role in the success and popularity of online stores as evidenced by many surveys, perhaps one can also surmise the information super highway presents an all too exciting/easy option for consumers, particularly women, hence it's appeal to so many demographics.

A penchant for coupons


To better understand consumers' use of coupons, BurstMedia surveyed more than 4,500 women 18 years or older about their current use of the Internet for household purchases and their penchant for web coupons. According to their findings, the Internet is now the primary resource women use to manage their households – how simple and convenient is it to get home from work, cook dinner, put the kids to bed, then sit down in front of the TV with your laptop and order the groceries? The answer, all too easy - perhaps demonstrated by the increase in the use of Internet coupons, their usage has increased tremendously since 2002 with a number of different surveys suggesting it’s grown as much as 82%.

It's almost blissful when you can browse through a product range online, select a size and have it mailed to the address of your choice overnight for $9.90 when you lead an already busy life. How much fun is it to browse over items in a store without being hassled by a sales assistant? The package arrives on your door step the next day, it’s exactly what you wanted and it required zero effort from you – no shopping centre car parks, no children in tow, no sales assistants and best of all, no other people to have to fight with to get the right size!

The appeal


The research below indicates that a whopping 70% of 18-34 year olds use the Internet to ‘search for information to help run the household’, this concept of "googling" whatever it is that we need to purchase/find information on is something that has been embraced whole-heartedly by this generation of people. Perhaps even more intriguing, the percentage of 35-54 year olds who use the internet is 71%, according to BurstMedia, indicating the prolific use of the internet in all households from things to grocery shopping to booking their next family holiday. The internet is cited by three out of four (74.1%) women as the best place to research travel information such as airline tickets and hotel reservations.

Internet is Primary Method to Accomplish Task
Respondent's Age 18-34 Yr
35-54 Yr
55-64 Yr
65+ Yr
All
Search for info to help run your household 70.0% 71.1% 65.5% 62.5% 69.4%
Search for info about products you might purchase 61.2% 66.6% 58.8% 43.3% 62.3%
Stay in contact with family and friends 54.0% 46.8% 53.7% 70.8% 51.7%
Pay bills/manage finances 46.2% 47.4% 40.5% 40.0% 44.6%
Search for bargains 39.8% 42.4% 36.2% 30.4% 40.0%
Purchase products 20.3% 20.3% 21.3% 22.3% 20.6%
Burst Media, March 2009

One third of women, according to the survey are coupon users, further showing the Internet is the primary vehicle (62.3%) that women use to research products or services they may purchase.

Is the appeal of the internet the anonymity – the fact that you can trawl around a website for as long a period of time as you like without being hassled by a ‘team member’ - possibly, this definitely appeals to a large range of people; is it the fact that you don’t have to engage in any sort of social discourse with anyone, be it someone assisting in the fitting room, to the person at the cash register - I definitely think not having to speak to a sassy sales assistant can go a long way for sealing the deal and ensuring you purchase said product ; or is it because we can do it at midnight if we wanted in our PJ’s having a cup of tea and a Tim-Tam? For me, it's a bit from all of the above - I can spend as much time, or as little time as I deem appropriate looking at something and not have to worry about anyone or anything else. Not to mention the sassy sales assistant! Shopping with a Tim-Tam in hand using your other to navigate the website is so much more appealing to so many people than actually going to a physical store.

Whatever it is about online shopping it’s got our attention and we love every single online minute of it. The online shopping phenomenon, driven further by coupons online is slowly but surely converting men and women all over the place to sit in the comfort of their lounge room and shop until their heart is content.
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