Sex Roles

, Volume 50, Issue 5, pp 423–444

Buying on the Internet: Gender Differences in On-line and Conventional Buying Motivations


DOI: 10.1023/B:SERS.0000018896.35251.c7

Cite this article as:
Dittmar, H., Long, K. & Meek, R. Sex Roles (2004) 50: 423. doi:10.1023/B:SERS.0000018896.35251.c7


Two studies are reported that examine gender differences in attitudes toward conventional buying and on-line buying. Thematic analysis of open-ended accounts (n=113) in Study 1 provides a rich, qualitative map of buying attitude dimensions that are important to young women and men. Study 2 is a quantitative survey (n=240) of functional, emotional–social, and identity-related buying motivations in the 2 environments. The on-line environment has an effect on buying attitudes, but more strongly so for women than for men. Whereas men's functional concerns are amplified—rather than changed—in the shift from conventional to on-line buying, women's motivational priorities show a reversal, and less involvement in shopping. In contrast to men, women's on-line buying is associated with barriers (social–experiential factors) and facilitators (efficiency, identity-related concerns) grounded in their attitudes toward conventional buying. This has implications for the ease with which women and men can and want to adapt to the accelerating shift toward computer-mediated shopping.

Internet and genderbuying motivationsbuying on-line

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexFalmer, Brighton, East SussexUnited Kingdom