Men are spending more than twice as much as women online, preferring to buy electronics and video games, whereas women prefer purchasing cosmetics, groceries and books, according to the 2015 Sensis e-Business Report.

Sensis commercial director, Rob Tolliday, says it all makes sense once you look at the purchases.

“You might not expect to see men spending more than women online, but when you look at what they are purchasing it starts to makes sense,” he explains. “Twice as many men as women purchased computer hardware last year for example.”

The survey, which measures the online experiences of 1,000 Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and 800 Australian consumers, found 61 per cent of males and 62 per cent of females made online purchases, with the average Australian spending $4,400 for the year.

The report found men are more likely to purchase electronic equipment (39 per cent versus 21 per cent), videos, DVDs or games (28 per cent versus 21 per cent) and computer hardware (23 per cent versus 11 per cent).

Women were more likely to purchase cosmetics (21 per cent versus 6 per cent), groceries (22 per cent versus 13 per cent), books (46 per cent versus 32 per cent) and clothing, accessories or shoes (54 per cent versus 47 per cent).

“It’s interesting to see traditional stereotypes playing out in online purchases. Men are buying more video games and take-away food while women are buying more groceries and cosmetics,” says Tolliday.

The report found 51 per cent of Australian SMEs are selling online with 66 per cent of those making the majority of sales to customers in their local area.

“On average 21 per cent of consumers’ online purchases are coming from overseas, highlighting the growing problem many Australian retailers face from overseas competition. It will be interesting to see what impact the proposed GST on imported goods under $1,000 will have on this figure.

“Not only are Australian stores having to compete with local online retailers, they are now also competing heavily with overseas players such as ASOS and Amazon who are trying to undercut them.

“It’s not all one way traffic however. While local sales dominate, 27 per cent of Australian SMEs are now selling to overseas customers. You might expect the falling Australian dollar will see more businesses start to sell their products globally,” he says.