The difference between an online merchant and offline shop owner is that the latter has the advantage of personally meeting his/her customers which helps the shop owner to analyze, or atleast guess their general behavior and work on sales pitch accordingly. But online merchants can only analyze their behavior through analytic tools and also through feedbacks that they receive through emails, Facebook or Twitter.
But whats common between the two is that, in both scenarios, men and women have different shopping habits, and respond differently to social media.
According to Chief Marketer, 47% of women search for coupons and promotions online, whereas there are only 33% of men are looking for such discounts online. Another interesting statistics is that they found men (36%) are more inclined than women (28%) towards finding information about a product while interacting with a retail brand through social media.
Here's what Gary Edwards, Executive Vice President of Empathica (a customer interaction consultancy) has to say about different online behavior of men and women:
“People are looking for promotions, coupons or an opportunity to find something that intrigues them through the convenience of social media site. It has beceome a firm representation in the customer mindset that I''m going to find a deal. Women are more intentional and thoughtful shoppers, despite the similar number of men and women in the workforce, women still hold a heavier responsibility for household organization, kids, dinner and homework. The world has not equalized on the home front.” Futher adding, “If we accept that women are tasked with shopping more, in tight times taking time to look for coupons and promotions just makes good economic sense. I am skeptical that women find social media much more entertaining or interesting than men. I don't believe there is a greater draw based on entertainment."
Shopper Centric (a website that analyzes shopping behaviors and trends) conducted a research on 1,000 people, which helped in giving a general insight on how men and women use social media for online shopping. According to them, 38% men use a smartphone as opposed to 29% if women; 60% of women use Facebook actively as compared to 52% men.
Shopper Centric's Managing Director, Danielle Pinnington says that “The survey clearly suggests a rather stereotypical situation – that women are slightly more likely to engage with retailers and brands through the social, chatty medium while men are very happy to play with their toys. Time is also an issue with women possibly more likely to engage in the social elements of a retailer’s Facebook page, and men looking to speed up the purchasing process via mobile.”
It is quite clear that with increasing popularity of smartphones, mobile commerce will take precedence over eCommerce. Shopper Centric has made it quite clear that larger number of men use smartphones to shop online, therefore the fact that 14% of men use phone apps for online shopping (as opposed to 8% women) should come as no surprise.
According to a report by ComScore, “Women on the Web”:
- Average time spent online by men is 22.9 hrs, whereas women spend 24.8 hours.
- Women spent an average of 16.3% of their online time on social networks in April 2010, compared to 11.7% of men.
- When it comes to Twitter, men mostly post their own tweets, whereas a larger percentage of women users use Twitter to find deals and promotions. Women are more likely to use this service as a conversation medium and to follow celebrities.
- Women surpass men when it comes to the reach and time spent on photo-sharing sites.
- The number of visits on retail websites is more or less the same for both the genders for all age groups, but women tend to spend more time on these websites than that of men.
- On an average, men conduct more searches per searcher then women (71.6% per searcher for men vs. 64.0 for women).
Here are few interesting graphs by ComScore:
Other than all these numbers, one of the most essential aspect that determines gender behavior towards your product/service hugely depends on your niche, and whether your product/service is inclined towards men, women or both. If it targets a particular gender, then perhaps you should consider studying behavior and trends based on age groups.
Since, most of our readers are online merchants, we would love to know your views on this topic. Do you think it even matters how different genders react towards your product/service and your social media campaigns?
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