Men Fall for Web Ads at a Higher Rate Than Women

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Photo: Emely/Corbis

According to research by Forward 3D, an agency that helps brands like Gucci and Mr Porter strategize their online marketing, men and women shop very differently online. First of all, women are less likely than men to buy something from an ad or other brand-sponsored content they've clicked on (in industry parlance, a "paid click"). On average, women buy something once out of every nine clicks, where as men are willing to do so once out of every six clicks. Forward 3D CEO Martin McNulty tells WWD:

What’s slightly terrifying is that 45 percent of women in our data set needed at least 12 paid clicks in order to transact ... That’s a big number. That’s expensive.

Terrifying? That actually sounds quite reasonable. McNulty doesn't provide an explanation for these numbers, but couldn't they have something to do with women wanting to browse more? Men may not be so likely to click on something unless they are truly in the market for it, whereas women often look at shoes just for fun (I would never buy a feather-trimmed sandal, personally, but I still enjoy gawking at them). Perhaps the difference in these numbers can be attributed to women's general curiosity about fashion — as well as the wider variety of fun options to click through — rather than a major difference in spending habits.

Also interesting: 82 percent of online shoppers don't wind up buying the product they originally searched for. Slippery fish, we are indeed.