Men continue to spend more than women online, with gender stereotypes playing out, as men dominate take-away food and video game purchases, while women spend more on fashion and cosmetics, according to the 2016 Sensis eBusiness Report.
Despite again spending more than women for the year, male spending dropped significantly from $6,500 to $3,600, while female spending was up from $2,400 to $3,100.
Sensis Commercial Director, Rob Tolliday said, “The purchasing behaviours don’t follow gender stereotypes in all cases. The number of males buying groceries jumped this year, with very little now separating males and females. And one in ten men are now also buying cosmetics online, which is almost half the number of women.”
The study, from digital expert Sensis, surveyed 1,000 Australian small and medium businesses and 800 Australian consumers about their online experiences and found that more than seven in 10 Australians made purchases online this year, up 10 percentage points from last year.
Streaming services are impacting on device ownership in the home, with penetration of digital TVs down from 70 percent to 61 percent), pay TV down from 31 percent to 27 percent and 3D TV down from 17 percent to 11 percent, all going backwards this year. “Netflix and other streaming services are changing the way we consume entertainment in the home.”
They also appear to be making us fussier. Satisfaction with home internet speeds has declined, with one in four now grumpy about how long their content takes to load,” said Tolliday.
Overseas purchases increased slightly, up from 21 percent to 23 percent, but local sales continue to dominate online. More than two thirds of Australian SMBs (67 percent) are primarily selling to businesses in their local city or town, while only 2 percent make most of their sales to overseas customers.
Of businesses with the internet 54 percent now sell online, with online sales growing from 32 percent to 43 percent of their total sales over the past four years.
“While sites such as Amazon offer consumers more choice, the falling Aussie dollar has seen overseas purchases remain steady, with less than a quarter of online purchases being made on overseas sites,” said Tolliday.
“From a business perspective e-commerce is increasingly important as fewer shops have a physical store front and those that do have to battle with major overseas retailers who have landed in the key shopping strips.”
Overall, the most popular items bought online are airline tickets up from 47 percent to 53 percent, clothing, accessories or shoes up from 51 percent to 57 percent and hotel reservations up from 47 percent to 53 percent.
Not surprisingly, the survey found that people in regional areas are much less likely to have made online purchases. Less than one in five booked a restaurant online (18 percent regional vs 35 percent metro) and a similar amount booked a medical appointment via the web, 20 percent regional vs 26 percent metro.
“While people in regional areas are less likely to make online purchases, when it comes to technology in the home, they are more likely to have a digital TV than their friends in the city, with ownership rates now at 65 percent,” said Tolliday.