Men, women differ when it comes to online shopping

Women edge out men in impulse buying

When it comes to making impulse purchases online this holiday season, men and women act differently, according to a survey conducted in the US by Harris Interactive for GSI Commerce.

Women are more likely to make impulse online purchases during the holidays based on limited-time offers, according to the survey. The Online Holiday Shopping survey was conducted online between October 19 and 23 among 2,818 adults 18 and over.

According to the survey, 55% of women ages 45 to 54 are more likely to make an impulse buy online based some type of limited-time offer such as a sale, rebate or free shipping. However, only 38% of the men in the same age group were likely to make an online purchase based on those criteria, according to the survey.

In addition, while 51% of the women ages 45 to 54 surveyed said they are influenced to impulsively buy something online if they can return it for free, only 36% percent of the men in the same age group said they would be swayed by the prospect of free returns.

And 59% of women -- compared with 54% of the men surveyed -- are somewhat or very likely to make an impulsive online purchase for something "perfect" for someone they know, according to the survey.

While men and women approach impulse buying differently, they're pretty much aligned when it comes to other online shopping habits, according to the survey. Thirty-four percent of both men and women surveyed said they usually shop at the Web sites of well-known companies, and 46% of women and 47% of men said they're more likely to shop at online retailers that have professionally-designed Web sites.

More women than men -- 46% to 34% -- said they are more likely to make a purchase at Web sites that offer convenient return policies.

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