The that shopping is the most favourite activity of

The moment we hear the term ‘shopping’,
the first thing that comes to the mind is ‘women’. The conventional image of
women as shoppers still exists even in the era of online shopping. Even there
are marketing studies which empirically prove that shopping is the most
favourite activity of women (Zhou, Dai, & Zhang, 2007). But there are some
studies (Garbarino&Strahilevitz, 2004; Rodgers & Harris, 2003) which
showed that the women were reluctant to shop online and spent little time on
the internet. As a growing technology, internet redefined the boundaries of
social spaces and interactions. It is quite open and the norms of this virtual
world is different than the society we are living in. but still there are proven
evidences which tells about the gender gap in using internet worldwide. Whether
it is a social networking, entertainments, or e-commerce, the perceptions,
preferences and pattern of use of various options in internet differs across
gender.

Again Considering the
e-commerce, the users are increasing day by day. The statistics says in 2016,
about 69 million consumers purchased online which is expected to cross 100
million by the end of 2017 (Economic Times, January 2017). The accelerating
growth in the users of e-commerce put the scope for study about gender gaps or
specificity of usage of internet for online shopping. Past studies looking at
the relationship between demographic profiles and online shopping stated the
gender as the most influential factor affecting Internet usage observed in the
recent years (Hills & Argyle, 2003; Hwang, Jung, &Salvendy, 2006;
Jackson et al., 2008; Levy, 2002; Mishra, Kramer, & Tyler, 1996; Potosky,
2007; Zhang, 2005).There was a significant gender gap in consumer’s shopping
behaviour which can be related to difference in online shopping behaviour
between men and women (Bae& Lee, 2011).Moreover, a study by Khare and
Rakesh (2011) showed that in India, men have a more positive attitude towards
online shopping compared to women. The present study conducted among the
research scholars in order to know that whether there exist gender specificity
in online shopping behaviour, pattern and preferences.

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Methods

The Research scholars
who are pursuing PhD in Pondicherry University constitute the study
participants. The participants were selected randomly and data were collected
through structured questionnaire. Total of 60 research scholars were took part
in the study.The researchers adopted quantitative
approach and descriptive research design to obtain information concerning the
research objectives. The research focused on the online shopping behaviour and
preferences of the participants and its gender specificity.The data analysed
using inferential statistical measures.

The research followed proper ethics during the
entire study. The participants were informed about the purpose of the research
and consent was obtained. Confidentiality of research data also considered.

Results

The results focused on the preferences and pattern of online shopping on
the basis of gender. The study had equal number of participation from both male
and female. The study results are explained below.

Gender
Specific online shopping behaviour

The tables 1, 2 and 3 are showing that there are no significant
differences based on gender in frequency, preferences and perception of risk.
Both the gender prefers online shopping with no significant differences.
Regarding the perception of risk, the mean is similar for both the gender and
the analysis show no significant differences with respect to gender. There are
only three participants who don’t use online shopping and the rest 57 were
using the facility of online shopping.

Table 1

Frequency of Shopping

Gender

Frequently

Regularly

Occasionally

Rarely

According to the need

Never

Total

Chi-square

df

Sig

Male

1

3

7

3

15

1

30

1.417

4

0.841

Female

2

1

8

3

14

2

30

 Total

3

4

15

6

29

3

60

Source: primary data

 

 

 

 

Table 2

Preferences
in online shopping

Gender

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

t

df

Sig.

Male

29

26.34

7.222

0.411

55

0.723

Female

28

25.61

6.285

Total

57

Source: primary data

Table 3

Perception of risk

Gender

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

t

df

Sig.

Male

29

38.45

12.362

-1.012

55

0.205

Female

28

41.39

9.331

Total

57

 

 

Source: primary
data

Product
Preferences

Table 4

Gender
wise product preferences

ITEM

RANK

Male (N=28)

Female (N=29)

Overall (N=57)

Books

3

2

2

Airlines
Reservation/Railway / Bus Ticket Booking

1

3

1

Electric Goods

2

3

2

Music

7

8

8

Online Magazines &
Journals

6

7

7

Personal Grooming
(Apparels)

5

1

4

Gifts, Greetings

8

6

6

Banking

4

5

5

 

The above table shows that ranking of purchasing product through online
irrespective of both gender and overall and male research scholars were ranked
first as E-ticket booking but female research scholars were ranked personal
grooming as first. Books and electric goods were ranked second and third by
female scholars but male scholars were in reverse.  Online banking also got important by both
genders because they ranked fourth and fifth. So we can understand from the
above findings, research scholars are giving more importance to books,
E-Ticket, Banking but female scholars are given little more importance to their
personal grooming items.

Discussions

            Scholarly consumers were very open
and knowledgeable about information technology for shopping for products and
services. These young people tend to place more concern on the familiarity
factor in affecting their shopping behaviour followed by promotional offers
affected greatly as their brands are still not well positioned in consumer
minds (Sukhi, 2013). The present study result also goes along with Sukhi (2013)
that among 60 participants 57 of the participants are using online shopping.
The easy access to internet and regular use of computers make them convenient
to use online shopping irrespective of gender. Internet shopping may require
capability to access the internet and other relevant resources. According to
the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1985), those who used the internet for purchase
believed less difficulty to use and access to the internet, as compared to
those who did not use the internet for purchase.The technology
acceptance model (Davis, 1989) also presented the similar findings.

            The present study results clearly
state that there is no significant differences in usage of online shopping with
respect to gender. A study conducted by Akman and Mishra (2010) among employees
in Turkish organisations also found no significant difference in using the
internet for shopping between men and women.Another finding from Ha andStoel
(2004) showed that women used the internet more often to search information on
apparel products than men and this study result agrees with the present study
result also. The women participants prefer apparels or personal grooming
products than other products and also than men. When considering the perception
of risk, the previous study conducted by Garbarino and Strahilevitz (2004)
confirmed that women perceived higher risk of online shopping than men.
Similarly, another study (Bae& Lee, 2011) found that women were anxious
about the risks of online shopping. But the present study results oppose the
previous study results that the difference with respect to gender shows no
significance in perceiving risk regarding online shopping.

Conclusion

Internet gives
an equal space for everyone without any specifications. Nowadays it is growing
as an alternate social space in every aspects and in certain times, a virtual
society better than real one. The particular study basically describing the
gender based preferences and use of online shopping which is only a lesser part
in the world of internet. The results of no significant differences with
respect to gender in online shopping behaviour except product choice are a good
sign of exploring an area without any gendered bias. The common notion of
‘shopaholic women’ is trivial according to the present study.  The men are also shopping as equal to women
in the e-shopping world. Also we can say that the better and wise usage of
internet is sidelining the scholarly community from the level of shopping or
internet addiction as the frequent or regular users reported very less even
they have better access. But still the researchers suggest a future research on
a time use pattern of internet among the research scholar.

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