The Male Power Shopper—are men emerging as the target consumers of 2019?

by | Jan 22, 2019 | Public Relations

It’s no secret to retailers that women have historically been more prolific shoppers than men. Women still make a majority of household purchasing decisions, and… well, they like to shop more! But according to new research from retail tech firm First Insight, men are now shopping more frequently than their fairer companions—both in-store and online.

A new report, The Arrival of the New Male Power Shopper, based on a survey of consumers on shopping habits, purchase behavior and influences driving decisions, found that 53 percent of men reported shopping on Amazon six or more times a month, compared to only 45 percent of female respondents. Further, 60 percent of men (versus 52 percent of women) say that their Amazon purchases have increased in the last year.

The data reflected a similar trend across traditional retail categories

Twenty-five percent of men, versus only 15 percent of women, reported shopping six or more times a month at mass department stores like Kohl’s or JC Penney. Luxury stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, and Prada saw 19 percent of men versus just five percent of women shopping six or more times a month. Similarly, 41 percent of men surveyed reported shopping at Walmart six or more times a month, versus just 35 percent of women.

The Male Power Shopper—are men emerging as the target consumers of 2019?

“We are seeing a significant shift in shopping behavior by men, which is shattering many age-old gender stereotypes. Men are now shopping more and increasing the frequency of their online and in-store purchases across the board, which is also beginning to outpace women in many categories,” said Greg Petro, CEO of First Insight, in a news release. “It’s clear that as we head into 2019, every retailer needs to shrug off the misperception that shopping is a female-dominated activity, particularly as more men leverage the latest technologies and online tools to find the best prices.”

Similar trends were seen when evaluating consumers who shop other retail categories six or more times a month including:

  • Off-price stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls – 24 percent of men versus 19 percent of women.
  • Traditional specialty stores like Gap, American Eagle, Guess, Victoria’s Secret – 20 percent of men versus 10 percent of women.
  • New specialty brands like Allbirds, Outdoor Voices, Warby Parker, UNTUCKit and M. Gemi – 20 percent of men versus five percent of women.
  • Online discount retailers like Gilt, 6pm and THE OUTNET – 19 percent of men versus eight percent of women.

The Male Power Shopper—are men emerging as the target consumers of 2019?

Other significant findings of the surveys include:

Men researching pricing more than women

Overall ownership of smart speakers showed a 75 percent relative increase over last year (24% to 42 percent). However, when comparing men and women, 47 percent of male respondents reporting owning one now, a 113 percent increase from last year (22 percent). By comparison, only 36 percent of women reported owning a smart speaker now. While that is a 38-percent increase over their reported ownership last year (26 percent), it is still 23 percent lower than smart speaker ownership among men. Usage of these speakers for researching product prices jumped 17 percent for men to 70 percent, compared to women who stayed about the same as last year at 46 percent.

Further, 69 percent of men reported looking on Amazon.com before looking and/or buying anywhere else versus 63 percent of women.

The Male Power Shopper—are men emerging as the target consumers of 2019?

Percentage of men making mobile purchases is now equal to women

When it comes to mobile purchasing, men are embracing mobile shopping as much as women. The number of men who reported “never” (less than once a month) making mobile purchases dropped significantly from 48 percent last year to 18 percent this year. Women were about the same, with the number that said they never make mobile purchases dipping slightly from 21 percent last year to 19 percent this year.

Read the full report here.

First Insight’s findings are based on comparing the results of two separate surveys based on targeted samples of 1,000 respondents in December of 2017 and September of 2018. They were completed through proprietary sample sources amongst panels who participate in online surveys.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter