Sales & Marketing

UK women spending £460m per week online

2 min read

28 January 2015

Women in the UK spend nearly half a billion pounds a week shopping online, research shows.

Many online businesses experienced a highly successful Christmas this year as online sales continued to boom. But what many do not know is that much of the rise in e-commerce this year was driven by women shoppers, who are estimated to spend £460m a week online.

Research by Fastlane International shows that Christmas 2014 saw sales reach £13bn, with 64 per cent of all UK women shopping online for at least one item, compared to 50 per cent of UK men.

“Today’s ‘New Man’ doesn’t seem to have evolved as much as he might think. It’s still left to women to buy all the presents for friends and family,” claims Fastlane. “Women buy on behalf of their husbands, their partners, their kids, and even sometimes their work colleagues. Small wonder they are turning to the web to save a lot of legwork.”

Today, women represent about half (49.8 percent) of all US online users, according to comScore research. Yet women make more online purchases (61 per cent) than men do and account for $6 out of every $10 (58 per cent) spent online. Even for toys and hobbies women spend most of the money. It’s only when it comes to computers and sports equipment that men spend more.

Clothing is, unsurprisingly, the most popular item bought by women, in the US it amounts to 71 per cent of dollars spent and in the UK only 19 per cent of women have never bought clothes online, compared to 27 per cent of men. 

Women are also using the internet to research items in ever greater numbers, even if their final purchase is in store. Research from marketers Lippe Taylor reveals only 6 per cent of women research products in store, and 89 per cent online.

Even for items which have traditionally had a male market, such as video games, women spent more than men in 2014 – a fact web retailers should keep in mind when developing new sites.

“Even for video games, sites can no longer be designed and aimed at their traditional audience of young males,” adds Fastlane. “For every form of internet retail, from booking parcels to buying furniture, our figures reveal the customer is Queen.’