September 8, 2005, 12:00 AM

Men are on a mission, women are on an exploration

“Men stick to the mission; they do whatever it takes to complete it. Women expand the mission; they create tangents,” says Kelly Mooney, who will present the results at the Summit of a study of men’s and women’s online shopping habits.


Five years ago, the stereotype of men Internet users was that they were web explorers and of women that they wanted as little to do with the Internet as possible-they were get-in-and-get-out users. The reality is the opposite-at least when it comes to shopping, Kelly Mooney, president of consultants Resource Interactive, will tell attendees at the 2005 Annual Summit.

“In 1999 and 2000, there was this general belief that men were surfers and women were seekers,” Mooney says. “That turns out not to be the case when it comes to shopping.”

Mooney will present the results of a survey of 1,000 consumers, information gleaned from 150,000 comScore Networks Inc. panelists whose online usage was tracked as a way to determine what men want online, and five-and-a-half hour interviews with each of 50 consumers-half men and half women. In addition, participants were asked to keep journals of web sites they visited, were asked to review 18 web sites and submitted their online browsing to recording so Mooney and her crew could later assess how they used web sites.

Mooney’s session, “The Gender Agenda,” which will be a general session at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, builds on a popular session she conducted at last year’s Summit on what women want. “The number one question we got after that session was: ‘What do men want?’” she says. “There was not a lot of insight into that question.”

The upshot, Mooney says: “Men stick to the mission; they do whatever it takes to complete it. Women expand the mission; they are three times more likely than men to create tangents.” An interesting example of a woman expanding the mission was one shopper who was looking for outerwear, such as shorts and casual shirts. “All of a sudden, she decided, ‘I might need a kayak.’ She stopped what she was doing and did a Google search for a kayak,” Mooney recounts. “The reason for the sudden shift was not apparent, but in her mind it was related to what she was doing because it fit into the category of vacation, although it was not apparel.”

Mooney’s conclusion: “Men shop online just like they shop offline-they look for something, they find it and they get out,” she says.


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