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Female consumers more responsive to online reviews

12 October 2011 - 10:50 by Sarah Collinson

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Women in the UK are more sensitive to the findings of customer reviews and research carried out prior to shopping online, according to a new poll from digital agency, Postcode Anywhere.

Over a thousand respondents took part in the study and the number of women who consider product reviews written by site customers to be important was a third higher than the proportion of men who hold the same opinion.

The survey discovered that male shoppers tend to be less interested in reading the reviews posted on e-commerce sites than their female counterparts, with many men dismissing reviews as irrelevant to the process of safe shopping online.

Experts believe that the e-commerce market is actually far more likely to polarise the genders when it comes to consumer habits, than bring them closer together.

Spokesperson, Phil Rothwell, said that the findings of the study are in keeping with similar polls conducted in the recent months. Male shoppers prefer to look at the specification sheet relating to a product to get their information, while women are happier to read analysis posted by other users, before committing to a purchase.

Other figures and trends suggest that men are not as sensitive to the social, interactive sides of modern e-commerce platforms and are more willing to forgive a site for its clunky controls and menus if the price is right.

The gender stereotype of men refusing to ask for help, while women welcome advice, seems to be played out in the world of online shopping, according to Mr Rothwell.

The translation certainly has some semblance of truth, given that the customer reviews sought by women can be equated to their alleged willingness to ask for directions when lost, while men will prefer to study the map/specifications, rather than seek advice.