Gender Bender: Driving the shopping cart
To conclude the Gender Bender series, let’s talk about men. Men, for some marketers, is a new frontier. Of course, they have always existed. But for ages, marketers have targeted women. While men may have been the bread winner, the women typically have controlled the purse string. Women have typically been the ones who would do grocery shopping. Women have typically been the ones making the shopping list.
But that’s no longer the case.
Men play a vital role in the household – most notably dads. According to a recent survey, 96% of dads in the US say they cook for themselves or others every week. Recognizing this trend, food marketers have shaped their advertising toward Dads. “Dads who get it get Go-Gurt!” is an obvious example that comes to mind.
Several recent studies have found that the number of men saying they’re the primary grocery shopper in the household has increased. An ESPN report says the figure has doubled, from 14 percent in 1985 to 31 percent in 2011. BPN, a global media agency, dubbed the term “Mansumer” put the number at 40 percent for a 2013 trend report. Another Yahoo survey last year claimed 51 percent of men were steering not just cars, but the shopping carts. Now, other studies show women claim to do 85 to 93 percent of food shopping, so there seem to be some margin of error or some overestimation (otherwise, I need a refund from my math teacher on adding). There is little doubt that there are more men shopping now than ever before. You just need to go to a store on a random Tuesday afternoon and observe this trend yourself. Some hypothesize that this trend is in part driven by the economy and the unemployment numbers. Regardless of the driver, marketers are taking notes on this phenomenon.
But one size doesn’t fit all. So, let’s have a quick look at how males shoppers behave similarly or differently than their female counterparts. According to recent surveys, more than two-thirds of male supermarket shoppers compare prices, while 64% make a shopping list ahead of time and 47% browse the store to look for unadvertised specials. This debunks the myth that guys are impulse shoppers. If considered with the fact that they cook, it’s no surprise that they would also meal plan, and therefore plan the shopping trip as well.
But there are some notable differences. The biggest is that less men (39%) use coupons compared to women (53%). In addition, men are more likely than women to use their phones to do research while in the store (36% vs. 29%). But this doesn’t translate to longer shopping trips. Men (59%) say they spend less than one hour in the store, compared to women (57%) say they spend an hour or more in the store.
What have you done to appeal to the male shoppers?
Photo credit: Nathan LeClair
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