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Men Show Online-Shopping Savvy

Men research purchases online, call friends and check reviews on their smartphones when in-store

March 20, 2012

Women may be shopping commandos, but men are catching up to them. One big reason is men’s ease with using digital tools.

A June 2011 survey by Men’s Health magazine and GfK Roper found that men not only check online for the best prices on products and services in traditionally “male” categories such as auto and tech, but they also do a significant amount of online comparing of prices in more “female” sectors like health/wellness and food/cooking.

Men go even further in their research, too, with over half reading reviews of products and services and nearly as many sharing positive research results with friends. Over half of men have even “liked” a Facebook page from a brand in one of the top product categories.

Online Shopping-Related Activities of US Male Internet Users, by Product Category, June 2011 (% of respondents)

“Empowered by their research on the internet, men are confident, engaged shoppers who are open to new ideas,” the report said.

Men’s shopping savvy continues when they are in the store, too. There, they use their smartphones as tools to make decisions. A January 2012 Pew Internet & American Life Project survey revealed that nearly as many men as women will call a friend to ask advice about a purchase while they’re shopping in a store.

And more men than women look up product reviews on their smartphone while in the store.

Demographic Profile of US Mobile Phone Owners Who Use Their Device While Shopping In-Store, Jan 2012 (% of respondents in each group)

GfK Roper’s advice to retailers: “Encourage men to browse—not just get them in and out of the store.”

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Check out today’s other articles, “Can Marketers Optimize Branding Campaigns in Real Time?” and “Ad Spending in Russia Hits Its Stride.”


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