Do Men and Women Shop and Spend Online Differently?

This article comes from Ann Smarty. She’s got some surprising stats about the differences between men and women when it comes to spending money online. Do you agree with the data?

Some would argue that men and women are too different to coexist. Take any aspect of our life. We behave and perceive a lot of things differently, including shopping. But what about online shopping and spending? Let’s discuss some of the differences between men and women and how they shop online.

Is Perception the Reality?

To start the topic, let’s take a look at something really basic: men and women are likely to see the world differently (which inevitably reflects their browsing and hence online shopping behavior).

Although findings are ambiguous, many investigations have found that men and women see both colors and images differently. Women are likely to know (and to be able to name) more colors, their color preferences are more diverse:

Favorite Colors (Men) Favorite Colors (Women)
Blue Blue
Green Green
Black Turquoise

Who Has Better Focus?

Men tend to stick to their mission, while women expand their mission. Like with shopping in “real life”, while shopping online men tend to be more focused. They stick to their initial aim religiously, while women forget why they started shopping easily switching between products and categories. A woman may start her shopping journey wanting to buy a mobile phone, and the next thing you know she is browsing some clothes for her kids.

Also, women tend to scan, while men dig. Men research the product page thoroughly viewing all the images, product details, etc; while women scan the product page and go to the next product they see. Here are some common e-commerce tricks that take advantage of this behavior:

  • Online stores targeting women usually have a list of recently viewed items (for the “browsing” woman to know what she has viewed already and return to that any time).
  • A female web store also allows women shoppers to move easily between product and category (featuring related categories, most popular products, etc).

Lastly, while men are product conscious, women are brand conscious. According to, men search for product names, while women search for brand names.

  • 18-24 year old females are more brand-conscious than males. 85% of top shopping searches by females were for brand names only, compared to 82% for males.
  • 18-24 year old males are more product-oriented in their searches than females. Product terms accounted for 16% of searches by males compared to 12% for females
Men and Women Shopping Online

Who’s the Better Online Shopper?

Who’s More Likely to Bargain Hunt?

Men have been found to search for and use promo codes. Most bargain hunters are men. Men = bargain hunters; women = last-resort, hurried and holiday shoppers. Other related differences here:

  • Men prefer coupons, women prefer sales. Besides that, men are likely to get depressed by holiday shopping because they prefer keep shopping under control (which is impossible during the shopping period)
  • Men are doing a lot of research, jumping to different sites, comparison shopping, reading reviews, etc. With men, store sales influenced by online research are three times higher than e-commerce sales.
  • Women age 18-24 are also more receptive to online advertising in various formats than the overall population, particularly more interested in localized information, surveys, social media formats and down-loadable content.

What’s your take? Do you follow your gender tendencies? Does one spending style more naturally translate into better spending habits for your finances?

Sources: Men, Women, and E-Commerce (2006), Women versus men online: shopping habits (2008), Web Usability: Are Men Hunters & Women Browsers? (2009); Photo by pescatello

Last Edited: February 29, 2016 @ 4:47 pm The content of is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.


  1. I guess they are really different because they are different kinds of entity. I think men have the better focus on what they like. Women likes’ new style that’s why their focus differs everyday.