Men Are From Mars; Women Are From Venus – Some Truths Behind Gender Differences in Online Shopping

Posted by Taylor Haney on Tue, Jul 9, 2013

Hope everyone had a happy 4th! We are continuing on with our e-Commerce theme this month with a post from Morgan Woodruff, Chief Operating Officer at Blueport Commerce. Morgan gives some insight into how the different online habits of men and women impact an e-Commerce strategy. If you are interested in guest blogging e-mail me at taylor [at] mitx [dot] org.

morgan woodruffWith a proven track record in developing and scaling organizations, Morgan is responsible for growth, business development and operations as Blueport Commerce continues to expand its furniture retail client base. There’s not a single day that goes by where he doesn’t think about how he can optimize and improve on the business of Blueport Commerce. An avid chef, Morgan is professionally trained by the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan and absolutely cannot live without cheeseburgers, Cobb salads, well curated olive oil, cheese and of course martinis. His interests include politics, wine (in between martinis) and supporting animal rescue and welfare. A Lincoln, MA native, Morgan has lived across the pond and across the US, but now calls the South End in Boston home.

It may come as no surprise that women are more open to shopping online than men. What’s really interesting to our business is how differences in how women and men shop online affect retailer strategies. And, with new e-commerce stores popping up like MITX members Bow and Drape and Blank Label, the experience shopping online for both genders is getting even more fun and convenient by the hour. We decode just a few key differences between women and men when it comes to shopping online and what retailers and technology vendors can do to tap into their preferences.


Men Are Bigger Spenders Than We All Think
It turns out that men, especially affluent men shop online more than their female counterparts, even though women report they are more open to shopping online. This may be because traditionally shopping has been considered a chore for men that takes time away from more desired activities (sports, beer, etc.). In fact:

Given this information, the e-commerce experience for men is due, and retailers and technology providers alike should take note on customization and segmentation to a market willing to spend online.

blueport blogMen Love Information
Looking at average purchase price time suggests that men are hurried and less methodical shoppers when it comes to making an online purchase. Additionally, men tend to shop online more on Mondays. In fact, many speculate that the reason men shop online more on Mondays is a result of weekend’s worth of research. Consequently, when they log in on Monday, they are there to purchase and move one – note – the preference for no fuss no muss as stated above

Can’t Forget the Ladies – Bargain Hunters Unite!
Women think about shopping A LOT – 74% think about shopping all the time. While men may be spending a lot and gathering information, women are on the hunt for a deal or a coupon. While this report is from 2011, we think it still rings true in today’s e-commerce world. It may be the satisfaction of the deal based on a constant notification of shopping behavior. They tend to spend more time browsing the web and making purchases online for the bargain.

For companies looking to get in the data weeds, using gender-specific findings can prove to be key for e-commerce success, specifically around segmentation, retargeting and promotions. 

So what can retailers and technology vendors do to tap into the nuances of male and female shoppers? Practical E-commerce notes that segmenting male and female audiences, and tailoring the online shopping experience is the key. Retargeting has its benefits across multiple targets to increase e-commerce conversion, but men’s shopping behavior now suggests that retargeting is a good way to reign them back in after they’ve gathered enough information to make a purchase decision. For women, a coupon or deal would be hard to pass up. Until then, we’ll all just be happily shopping online.