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Roles reversed as men dominate Britain’s ‘Online High Street’

Report suggests men shifted their spending online quicker in response to the recession

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Roles reversed as men dominate Britain’s ‘Online High Street’

The stereotype of the female shopaholic could soon be an image of the past, as new research shows that Britain's 'online high street' is increasingly dominated by men.

The latest findings from the PayPal UK Online Retail Report, conducted by Experian, indicate that

over 12.9 million men shop online today compared with 10.3 million women, and almost twice as many men than women are joining the army of online shoppers each year. Since 2006, an average of 839,000 extra men have started shopping online each year compared to fewer than 400,000 women.

Men are also spending more online than women. The average online spend over the last six months was 2,602 for men compared to 1,930 for women. Men significantly outspent women on travel (992 compared to 884 spent by women), financial services (897 compared to a female spend of 616) and major purchases such as fridge freezers and washing machines (627 compared to 339). In fact, men spent more than women in every online category except groceries and clothing.

The PayPal report suggests that men were quicker to turn to the internet at the beginning of the economic downturn, looking to save money by shopping around, and to research products in more depth before buying them.

Carl Scheible, Managing Director of PayPal UK, said: “The online revolution has turned men into shopaholics. We love the quick and efficient nature of the internet, especially when it comes to buying technology and gadgets.

“Our impatience has helped drive a revolution in how websites are designed. Gone are the days of elaborate graphics that take an age to load - and drive customers away to better designed sites. Companies like PayPal have also helped by making it quicker to checkout and pay online - in many cases, in just a few mouse clicks.“

Men's love affair with online shopping looks set to accelerate. Four in 10 (41%) male shoppers plan to do as much of their shopping as possible online in future against just 29% of women and over half (55%) of men shopping online expect to expand the range of products and services they buy compared to 45% of women.

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