The conventional wisdom is that women account for the lion’s share of consumer spending, including online purchases.
But it turns out that men are the power shoppers when it comes to purchases made on smartphones and tablets.
In a new report, BI Intelligence breaks down the demographics of U.S. online and mobile shoppers by gender, age, income, and education, and takes a look at what they’re shopping for, and how their behaviours differ. It’s important for retailers to know who their potential customers are online in order to market to them effectively.
Here are the surprising facts about men’s e-commerce and mobile commerce habits:
- When it comes to e-commerce, men drive nearly as much overall spending online in the U.S. as women. The conventional wisdom is that women drive shopping trends, since they control up to 80% to 85% of household spending. However, In 2010, comScore estimated that women account for $US6 out of every $US10 spent online. In 2012, a Greenfield survey found that women account for 58% of online spending in the U.S.
- Men are more likely to make purchases on mobile devices. 22% of men made a purchase on their smartphones last year, compared to 18% of women. And 20% of men bought something on a tablet, while the percentage for women was 17%.
- Many men say they would like to shift all their spending online. 40% of American men aged 18 to 34 said they would “ideally buy everything online,” compared to only 33% of women the same age. (See chart, above.)
- Men are avid users of online auction sites: 43% of men ages 18-34 say they typically shop on online auction sites like eBay, compared to only 31% of women the same age.
- Men are price-conscious: Men of all age groups are more likely to look for lower prices on their phones than women, and are more likely than women to buy things on their phone.
- Male teens are also more avid e-commerce shoppers than their female counterparts: Among teens, the proportion of males who report shopping online (86%) is ten percentage points higher than that for teen girls (76%). Also, a higher percentage of teen boys say they shop at general interest e-commerce sites like Amazon (34%) and eBay (8%) than is the case among teen girls, who prefer more specialised and fashion-conscious sites.
In full, the report:
- Examines e-commerce behaviour by generation
- Indexes e-commerce spending by age group against the amount of time a given demographic spends online.
- Breaks down online spending habits of millennials and teens, including the brands and products they shop for.
- Examines the factors behind what drives online purchases among millennials.
- Identifies Gen X, boomer, and older consumers’ online spending tendencies.
- Looks at how education and income influence e-commerce spending.
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