UK women spend £460m a week online, Fastlane International reveals

Women drive online shopping

Women drive online shopping

UK online courier, Fastlane International, reports it enjoyed a successful Christmas as online sales continued to boom, and it reveals much of the rise in e-commerce this year was driven by women shoppers.

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

Christmas 2014 broke all online records, reveals Fastlane. UK Christmas sales reached £13bn and US online sales $72.4bn. The UK and international courier’s research shows that women were the main internet spender. In all, 64% of UK women decided to shop online for at least one item, spurred on by increasing amounts of choice in delivery options; compared to around 50% of UK males.

Fastlane International head of public relations, David Jinks, says the figures are not surprising.

“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. 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%) of all US online users, according to comScore research. Yet women make more online purchases (61%) than men do and account for $6 out of every $10 (58%) 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% of dollars spent and in the UK only 19% of women have never bought clothes online, compared to 27% 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% of women research products in store, and 89% online.

Jinks said: “New figures released by the UK’s National Office of Statistics reveals we Brits spend £718.7m a week online. And if 64% of that spend is by women, then that’s £460 million a week spent by women alone.  And across the Atlantic 58% of the total $306bn online spend in 2014 was done by women; that’s $177bn. Even for video games, sites can no longer be designed and aimed at their traditional audience of young males. For every form of internet retail, from booking parcels to buying furniture, our figures reveal the customer is Queen.”