A DDB Life Style Study, referenced at AdWeek, has shown that men are more inclined to pull out their smartphones for mobile shopping or interaction with their environment than women.
Part of the reason appears to relate to efficiency. According to the study, men make quick decisions and purchasing moves on their phones without ever visiting a store. The report also shows that only 44 percent of men surveyed were willing to see shopping as entertainment, while 57 percent of women found shopping fun. Men, in other words, generally prefer to finish shopping quickly.
The numbers for retail store app use were more mixed, with 18 percent of men and 14 percent of women saying that they typically use the apps retail stores provide. For general shopping apps, the results were even closer, with only a two percentage point difference between men and women in the 18-34 bracket.
Numbers were slanted a bit more in the men’s direction on the statement “Ideally I would buy everything online,” with 40 percent of the 18-34 men’s group agreeing but only 33 percent of the women’s group. Interestingly, the greatest disparity came when 43 percent of the 18-34 year old men said that they typically shop on auction sites, but only 31 percent of the 18-34 year old women did.
These differences of only several percentage points show a promising trend toward mobile acceptance among both genders. However, the nature of smartphone shopping may appeal to American men a bit more than women, particularly when it comes to impulse buying and immediate shopping decisions. Marketers aiming to increase this revenue may want to adjust mobile strategies accordingly — or at least use gender neutral content.
Not all studies agree with this men-focused look at mobile shopping. Measuring only who scans for the best prices and uses mobile apps may be missing part of the picture. A popular 2011 Ad Age study, “Always On Women,” reported that women dominate when it comes to sharing information and communication over mobile devices, a trend that has changed little since then.
Marketers should not give up entirely on the female sector when it comes to mobile shopping, but they may want to adjust their strategies based on whom they are trying to reach. Men appear to be more attracted to time-saving and cost-cutting features when it comes to buying, while women are more willing to share promotions and browse through enjoyable product displays or digital catalogs.
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