A difference between shopping habits of men and women is one of the most favourite subjects of discussions and jokes. Many women sigh “Men...” in front of an electronic shop, while men wait impatiently before a shoe shop. Survey on consumer habits of men and women performed in several European countries confirms that stereotypes do have something in common with reality. Consequently, representatives of opposite sex approach differently the issues of loyalty, sales channels, products, or services.
Analysis of shopping behaviour of consumers “The future of shopping. The key trends in retail today at in 2030” was conducted by Comarch and Kantar TNS in Poland and five European countries: the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. The answers given by over 3,000 respondents present more detailed information on the habits and expectations shown by men and women from a trade offer, starting from personalised offers, through a manner of payments and to channel selection.
On-line or brick-and-mortar shop?
While men are perceives as fiends of electronic devices and technological novelties, women tend to follow trends in fashion. The results prove that as much as 45% of the surveyed women and only 29% of men prefer buying clothes and shoes in on-line shops. At first glance, it could thus seem that these are women who prefer on-line channels. However, in order to understand the relationship better, one should look at the product categories more thoroughly. It is enough to change a category into one perceived as typically male and select electronic equipment instead of fashion, e.g. TV sets or Hi-Fi equipment and then the situation is completely different. As the survey shows, 46% men and only 36% women buy these products on-line. All signs indicate that the ratio will also be maintained in the future. The surveyed people of both sexes admitted that they would intend to buy more often through the Internet. While today every second man and every third woman purchases electronic devices via the web, in the near future the ratio will grow to 2/3 for men and ½ among women buying on-line. Also in case of clothes and footwear, on-line shopping becomes more and more popular. Here, the ratio will also remain relatively the same. According to the survey, 53% of women, compared with 45% of men intend to buy using the Internet in 2030.
Customers' loyalty depending on the product
The survey performed by Comarch and Kantar TNS shows the issue of loyalty in consumers of both sexes. It appears that women show greater loyalty towards trade companies, though also in this case a product category plays a key role. As far as fashion is concerned, 59% of women, compared with 46% of men are in the group of loyal customers. In case of cosmetics, the percentage of women goes as high as 60%, when compared with a significantly lower percentage of men at 37%. In turn, when selecting other product categories, loyalty is less noticeable among women and the ratio of women and men remains relatively at the same level. The authors of the survey prove that emotions and positive experiences during shopping have much stronger effect on women than on the male part of the population. Consequently, positive experiences induce as much as 63% of the surveyed women, compared with 47% of men to visit a given shop again. This aspect is significant also in case of on-line shopping. One half of women, compared with 40% of men were ready to visit the on-line shop again as a result of positive experiences.
Loyalty programmes in Poland and Europe
It will hardly come as a surprise to anyone that women more often choose to participate in loyalty programmes than men. In total 80% of the Polish women are members of loyalty programmes, the greatest proportion accounted for by middle-aged women. For comparison’s sake, 70% of the Polish men collect points or hold a loyalty card. A total number of women participating in loyalty programmes in all six countries under the survey is 77%, compared to 65% of men.
Significance of technological progress
As far as collecting points is concerned, both women and men are rather conservative and when making payment they prefer showing their loyalty cards – women more often (41%) than men (32%). In turn, men are more likely to use applications in their smart phones. Thus, 10% of the male users and only 4% of the women use such applications. Whereas, in case of discount coupons, women prefer a classic form of paper printouts received by traditional post (35%), while men put e-mail receiving these first (41%). It is also noticeable that male customers more often use their mobiles while doing shopping – 57% of men and only 45% of women are interested in a navigation option in shops.
See with your own eyes
As seen from the above statistics, men tend to be more interested in technological novelties which ensure additional sensations while shopping. Apart from that, it is noticeable that both groups of customers like touching products. An opportunity to touch products in the “clothes” category was important for a half of all respondents, women and men alike. In case of products in construction and decoration stores, there are slightly more men (40% of men, 34% of women), and in case of goods from other categories, women are the leaders, e.g. jewellery (47% of women, 31% of men) and cosmetics (38% of women, 29% of men).
The fact that women have different expectations towards shopping than men is not a stereotype, but reality. That is why the manufacturers or service providers must adequately adjust their trade offers, personalise promotions, or the manner of communication, to attract either men or women to buy readily in their points of sale. In order to single out from others, it is worth offering something particular for the sex less interested in a given assortment – when your wife buys shoes, her husband could have a place in the shop where he could sit comfortably and drink a cup of coffee, waiting for his companion – suggests Piotr Budzinowski, Director fo the Product Management Comarch ERP Department.
Report “THE FUTURE OF SHOPPING. THE KEY TRENDS IN RETAIL TODAY AND IN 2030” is available at: https://www.comarch.com/trade-and-services/loyalty-marketing/resources/future-of-retail/.