Why are men buying more than women online?


So at the Broadband Economy conference, some interesting facts were brought up. The one that grabbed the most attention was the fact that according to Hammer & Tongues online shopping analytics, in Zimbabwe more men shop online than women. This is some serious deviation from the expected. The norm is women are inclined to shop more than men.

I think it’s wise for me to start with a disclaimer, seeing that this article is about gender, a very sensitive topic in this 21st century. I mean, I wouldn’t wanna be labelled sexist for merely stating facts. So here goes the disclaimer: I am not sexist! – and that should be good enough.

Also, just to quickly help anyone who might be thinking that Hammer & Tongues is some hardware or building material shop. No it is not. It has a whole range of products. More accurately, Hammer and tongues has an online shopping mall though they are more synonymous with their auctioning platform. Now that that’s out of the way, we can go ahead and discuss this.


The first thing to consider is that in Zimbabwe, maybe men actually do more shopping than women. Particularly when it comes to grocery shopping. My assumption would be these days it’s easier for the breadwinner (which is mostly the man) to just pass by the grocery store and do some shopping on his own. In the distant past, grocery shopping was a more intense exercise because people would purchase a lot of goods at the same time because they could afford, which is not necessarily the case nowadays. These days you just buy what you can, when you can!

Another thing to note is that, because online shopping requires online payment in form of, say, debit cards, it could make sense that men are doing most of the online shopping. Once again, due to the fact that most men are the breadwinners in their household, they are likely to have these debit cards and hence can carry out the shopping with much more ease.

Or maybe it could all just be a function of men being in a position of control. In this case, cash flow control within their families.

Someone else suggested that it’s a question of who has access to internet more. We all know that people have a tendency of using office wifi for personal business. So maybe men carry out the shopping at work since it could be because at home their access to the internet is limited to probably WhatsApp and Facebook.

But then again, it could simply be because women enjoy shopping so much that they prefer doing it in person (offline), while men just want to get it over and done with by searching remotely hence their preference for online shopping.

I mean there could be hundreds of reasons (well maybe not hundreds) why there is that disparity in shopping trends and these are just some of them. You’ll realise that the highlighted reasons are skewed towards the married but what about the singles? Also, are these trends just in the virtual world or they only apply to hammer and tongues specifically?

Are these actually the new trends in Zim both for both offline and online shopping?

It would be interesting to hear what you think before we can give you a much more detailed research on the matter. So, what are your thoughts??

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