New Study Reveals How Men Really Shop

— September 23, 2013

Retailers that still believe in the stereotype "real men don't shop" had better think again. Not only do they shop, they take pride in being smart shoppers. A surprising 63 percent percent of men say they actively look for sales in-store and 53 percent admit to regularly using coupons, according to WSL, a firm that researches shopping behavior and retail trends.

The finding was revealed as part of the firm's How America Shops - Men & Shopping report, which also identified Millennial men as the most tech-savvy shoppers with 67 percent using their mobile phones to shop, vs. 52 percent of Gen X'ers and 29 percent of Boomers.

"There are a number of assumptions associated with the way men shop, and the reality is that many of them are just not true," said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL.  "Men are consistently more optimistic about their finances than women, which makes them more inclined to spend than their female counterparts, even in a shaky economy.  What's different about today's man is that he is more engaged and shopping smarter than retailers may be giving him credit for."

Candace Corlett, president, added, "It's important to recognize that younger men are driving this evolution in shopping behavior.  The Gen X and Millennial men grew up with significantly more places to shop and tools to choose from, and they are part of a culture that shares shopping responsibilities with their working wives. With these groups now representing more than half of the male population, brands and retailers need to make sure they know how these men shop."

How men really shop:

  • Men DO look for sales. Two-thirds of men actively seek out sales when shopping. Not surprisingly, younger shoppers are most savvy in searching for online discounts (50 percent of Millennials and 40 percent of Gen X'ers vs. only 25 percent of Boomers), while at least half of men in all age groups regularly use coupons to help reduce costs (57 percent of Millennials, 54 percent of Gen X'ers and 50 percent of Boomers).
  • Real men ask for help. In fact, more men than women will look for help from a sales associate in just about every category, including: home products – 25 percent (vs. 18 percent women); baby products – 25 percent (vs. 12 percent women); beauty products – 14 percent (vs. 9 percent women)
  • They want the benefits of membership. Despite the belief that men won't bother with rewards programs, 79 percent belong to a frequent shopper program, almost as many as women (89 percent), and 73 percent of the men surveyed say they receive email alerts for shopping vs. 82 percent of women.
  • They rely on product reviews.  Sixty-eight percent of men feel they are better informed after reading online product reviews, with 58 percent say they are ready to make a purchase after reading reviews, almost as high as women.

Methodology
The How America Shops Men & Shopping 2013 study was conducted as a nationwide online survey of 740 men and 780 women shoppers ages 18+ in July of 2013.

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