British men are the big Internet shoppers, while women prefer to indulge in "virtual window shopping" according to a study released by Visa, the credit card supplier.
The research reveals that nearly half of British men connected to the Internet use it for online shopping with 15 per cent of men, compared to five per cent of women, making three to five online purchases in the last month.
According to the study, based on surveys of 45,000 UK Internet users conducted by Fletcher Research and BRMB International, 60 per cent of women browse the Internet to gather information on the availability and price of goods, while over 30 per cent find new products when surfing.
Sandra Alzetta, senior vice president, ecommerce, Visa EU said: "Currently men seem to be taking advantage of the Internet and are more likely to make a purchase, but the number of women using the Internet is increasing. Greater numbers of women are using it to go virtual shopping before buying what they want on the high street."
David Peek, Consumer Shopping analyst, added: "Men and women view shopping differently, in two very distinct ways. Women enjoy the day out, while men see shopping as a necessity rather than a pleasure."
The research also found that men tend to spend more on a single purchase when shopping online than women, on average, £600 and £200 respectively.
Internet shopping in general is set to increase, Visa claims, with one in ten British online shoppers expected to spend more on products by April 2000.
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