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To Prod Men to the Grooming Aisle, Retailers Use Digital Tactics

Men are not interested in browsing products in-store

Men don’t like to shop, but they like to buy. According to a new eMarketer report, “Groomed for Growth: Digital Strategies Reach Men in the Personal Care Aisle,” this presents a challenge for personal care marketers as they target men beyond the basics of body wash, shampoo and shave cream.

Even going forward, only a small piece of the personal care product market will be for men. Global Industry Analysts predicts the global male grooming products industry will generate $33 billion in revenue by 2015. Consumer market researcher Euromonitor estimates that the men’s grooming category in the US will reach $5.8 billion by 2016, with the men’s toiletries category—which includes bath and shower, haircare and skincare products—expected to see 10% growth from its 2012 sales tally.

For the basics—body wash, shaving tools and shampoo—use is high among males in the US, according to the NPD Group.

The numbers do fall dramatically after those basics. And it’s unknown whether the haircare and skincare products men are using are male-specific or more unisex.

Research from Mintel, which reports on global consumer trends, shows younger men are driving sales of personal care services. It found that 25% of men ages 18 to 34 had had a manicure or pedicure, while 38% had had a facial or body treatment. (That percentage goes down as men get older—just 15% of men ages 55 and older said they had a facial or body treatment.)

But while sales in the health and beauty category skewed heavily toward women and young millennials (ages 18 to 24), a higher percentage of men reported purchasing health and beauty products online than said they bought pet supplies, groceries or baby toys online.

And since men increasingly research online—on desktop and mobile—and have little interest in browing store aisles, creating ecommerce “man aisles” is one way CPG marketers can reach males and provide CPG product information.

In addition, to convert men to a new personal care product, tapping into men's heavy-duty video viewing is a good approach for marketers.

Men connect with brands that tell a story, according to Keith Richman, CEO of Break Media, which hosts a stable of male-focused websites. Break found that “men gravitate toward products that tell a story about them and convince them that they do in fact look good and smell good,” Richman said.

He noted how infrequently men felt they were presented correctly in the media. “The ‘doofus’ doesn’t work,” he said. But poking fun at the macho image, a la Old Spice, “is such an open exaggeration of what a macho character is like that it resonated with people.”


The full report, “Groomed for Growth: Digital Strategies Reach Men in the Personal Care Aisle” also answers these key questions:

  • How big is the market for men’s grooming products? How much are men purchasing in the personal care category?
  • What consumer behaviors make men more likely to go to online and mobile sites to shop?
  • How likely are men to share experiences with grooming products on social networks?
  • Are men shopping for themselves, or do brands need to target women?
  • Is humor the only way to reach men? What else should brands be doing to engage male consumers?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other articles, “Facebook Newsfeed Ads Get Retailers High-Value Clicks” and “Security Concerns on the Radar for Internet Users in China.”

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