Gender differences in information search: Implications for retailing

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44 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence on search behavior of gender, purchase confidence, and internal knowledge in different purchase situations. It is expected that there will be gender differences on search behavior, particularly given different purchase situations. Design/methodology/approach - Multivariate analysis of variance was used to analyze the main and interaction effects of the independent categorical variables on multiple dependent interval variables. An online survey was distributed to employees in different geographic locations in the USA. Findings - The results of situational use indicate that sources of information are perceived differently by males and females depending on their levels of purchase confidence and internal knowledge, suggesting that, when consumers consider sources of information, such as retail clerk, family/friends or themselves, the purchase situation influences that decision. Research limitations/implications - The measure of the situational influence through brief descriptions of hypothetical consumption situations was required. Such descriptions could not include every possible feature of a natural setting, resulting in subjective interpretation by respondents of what are socially acceptable, possibly confounding results. Practical implications - Consumers bring to the buying decision different types of experiences and expectations. Understanding how males and females seek varied sources of external information is relevant to the service industry in designing promotional plans, whether the product of choice is a restaurant, vacation resort, and hotel or tourism destination such as a winery. Originality/value - The contribution of the research is to broaden the understanding of search behavior and the role gender plays, particularly in different purchase situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-428
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consumer Marketing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Consumer behaviour
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Search output


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