Women in the U.K. are 71% more likely to buy a car online than men and are significantly more likely to order a car than women who visit a traditional dealership.
Analysts at the U.K. online auto retailer BuyaCar say the data may help explain why the online car-retail market is growing even as traditional dealers face continued falling sales.
Last year the traditional market saw sales fall 6.8% while online sales grew for a third year. This year, the traditional bricks-and-mortar market is down again almost 3% while sales on BuyaCar.co.uk are up 12%.
Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures show women only account for 34% of all U.K. car purchases in the traditional dealer environment, despite representing about half of all showroom traffic.
At BuyaCar.co.uk just over 40% of car orders come from women, even though almost three times as many men visit the site.
And although men are still buying more cars than women online overall, the likelihood of a woman who visits the site making a firm purchase decision is 71% greater than for a man.
BuyaCar.co.uk analysts arrived at the figure by comparing the number of men and women visiting the site during 2019 and breaking them down into the rate at which they place firm orders.
BuyaCar.co.uk Managing Director Austin Collins says the new data confirm previous studies suggesting women are less comfortable than men in the traditional dealer environment.
He says the analysis also suggests women browse for cars online in a more purposeful or practical way than men, with more intent to make a purchase decision.
“We have long been aware that our female customers are driving sales growth faster than men, but this is the first time we have put a figure on how much more likely women are than men to place an order,” Collins says in a statement.
“With women forming 28% of our website visitors but consistently accounting for 40% of our sales, it's clear that women are generally the most purposeful and decisive visitors.
“It's yet more evidence that offering the no-pressure transparency of an ‘Amazon-like’ car buying experience, complete with home delivery, is especially welcomed by the section of the population that consistently reports feeling less happy taking the traditional approach to buying cars,” Collins says.