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Women Consumers Making Presence Felt

Women Consumers Making Presence Felt in Online Space with Frequency of Shopping: MasterCard

Women Shoppers Make Up 57% of Frequent Online Shoppers

Auckland, 24 September: More women than men are shopping online, and making purchases more frequently over the Internet. The latest survey on online shopping habits by MasterCard Worldwide revealed that 78% of all women surveyed had shopped online, and that women shoppers comprised more than half (57%) of
The survey, which surveyed 4157 respondents across Asia-Pacific1, showed that price/value was the top consideration in terms of making an online purchase.  In fact, of the 61% of women who admitted to shopping impulsively online, the substantial discounts and lower prices found online were often the trigger for this. Seventy-five percent of female consumers who had shopped on impulse did so because of the lower prices, while 49% were attracted by the uniqueness of products which were only available online.

Ladies’ clothing or accessories (62%), books and arts (42%) and cosmetics (39%) were among the products frequently purchased by female consumers.

While female consumers were shown to be more prone to impulse shopping, a slightly higher number of male shoppers were surprisingly more planned with their purchases. Eighty-five percent of male shoppers had conducted some research prior to their online purchase, compared to 82% of female shoppers. Research done by male consumers was via the Internet (89%) or visiting the company/merchant’s website (64%). While female shoppers also conducted research via the Internet (86%) and company/merchant's website (59%), word-of-mouth (51%) was an important source of information for them as compared to their male counterparts (44%).

Interestingly, while women are shopping more frequently online compared to men, male shoppers are spending more on their online purchases. Seventy-nine percent of men spent more than US$100 on online shopping over a period of three months compared to 72% of women shoppers surveyed. This is possibly due to the types of products men purchase online. As female shoppers spent on clothes and accessories online, men were shopping for home appliances and electronic products (49%), CDs/DVDs/VCDs (43%) and books and arts (41%).

In terms of concerns pertaining to online shopping, security is top of mind for female online shoppers. Thirty-five percent of women felt insecure about shopping online, compared to 32% of men. Sixty-six percent of women surveyed said they had not made an online purchase in the last three months as they were not sure if their transactions would be secure. Another key reason for female consumers not shopping online was the lack of tangibility in the online channel – 62% had not made an online purchase because they wanted to shop in an offline channel and feel the products for themselves.

"According to MasterCard's Insights Report, Online Shopping in Asia/Pacific - Patterns, Trends and Future Growth, growth from online shopping is poised to further accelerate in Asia/Pacific and the online shopping population in the region is expected to reach 819.4 million by 2010. Women consumers are an important group of online shoppers and these findings offer insights for businesses to better understand their consumption habits and preferences," said Georgette Tan, vice president, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide.  

Other key highlights from the survey include:

Top websites visited by women shoppers were those of retailers selling clothes and accessories (57%), cinemas and home appliances/electronic products (46% each), and supermarkets/superstores and airlines (42% each). Men’s favourite websites were those featuring home appliances/electronic products (60%), cinemas (44%), supermarkets/superstores (39%) and airlines (38%).
More women (62%) visited merchants’ websites intending to make a purchase as compared to men (53%).
Women seem to be more recent entrants into online shopping: fewer women (41%) have been shopping online for more than three years compared to men (47%). Forty-six percent have been shopping for about one to three years. 
Besides the price/value of the products (89%), secure payment facilities (88%), convenient payment methods (88%), good customer service (82%) and promotions (82%) were also important to women online shoppers. While male online shoppers were similarly driven by price, security and convenience, they were less attracted by good customer service (77%) and promotional offers (76%).
In terms of the overall shopping experience, male shoppers (84%) seem to be slightly more satisfied than women (78%). In terms of further improving the online shopping experience, enhanced payment security (74%), no additional service charges (66%) and more user-friendly websites (58%) were highlighted by both male and female online shoppers as factors making a difference.  

About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes over 18 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to


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