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Men driving mobile and voice commerce, as shopping behaviour shifts along gender lines

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Men are driving changes in shopping behaviour, with many using voice devices and mobile in the shopping process – and they are doing more shopping as a result.

According to the report The Rise of the New Male Power Shopper from First Insight, men are embracing technology for shopping and research more than women.

Men questioned for the study reported higher overall ownership of smart speakers. Usage of these speakers for researching product prices increased for men when compared with last year while it stayed constant for women.

Further, a higher percentage of men than women reported looking on before looking and/or buying anywhere else.

Moreover, the percentage of men making mobile purchases is now nearly the same as women. The number of men who reported “never” – considered to be less than once a month – buying via mobile dropped significantly from 48% last year to 18% this year.

Women stayed at about the same level, with the number that said they never make mobile purchases dipping slightly from 21% last year to 19% this year.

Men also reported doing more online shopping overall, as well. When comparing the percentages of purchases men said they made online this year, male survey participants felt that 41% of their purchases were being made online, compared to a year ago when about 38% bought online.

Women, conversely, are making a smaller proportion of purchases online this year compared with last year. Women respondents reported making only 40% of their purchases online this year, down from 46% reported last year.

Further, 53% of men reported shopping on Amazon six or more times a month, while only 45% of women respondents said the same. Additionally, 60% of men – compared to 52% of women – claim that their Amazon purchases have increased in the past year.

This may be driven by a propensity to own an Alexa device. Overall ownership of smart speakers including Amazon Echo/Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod showed a 75% relative increase over last year, from 24% to 42% year on year.

However, when comparing men and women, 47% of male respondents report owning one now, a 113% increase from last year, when it was just 22%.

By comparison, only 36% of women reported owning a smart speaker now. While that is a 38% relative increase in their reported ownership over last year (26%), it is still a relative 23% lower than smart speaker ownership among men.

Usage of these speakers for researching product prices also jumped, 17% for men to nearly 70%, compared to women who stayed about the same as last year at 46%.

According to the report: “As men become more active shoppers, this trend will likely continue into the foreseeable future. As such, retail and brand decision makers must not be too quick to overlook the voice of male shoppers, and work to meet their expectations for products and pricing in equal measure to their female shopping counterparts if they hope to compete. They should also take special care to consider that men use the latest technologies like smart speakers, mobile technology and to research the best prices. Retailers and brands that ignore the growing opportunities presented by male shoppers will lose this lucrative segment to better equipped competitors.”

First Insight’s findings come from two separate surveys. The consumer surveys are based on targeted samples of 1,000 respondents each and were fielded in December of 2017 and September of 2018.

Image: Fotolia

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