One quite interesting trend that is becoming apparent in the realm of mobile shopping is the increasing involvement of men. Coming from a culture that has always tended toward stereotyping “shoppers” as women, assessing the information revealed by the recent InsightExpress Digital Consumer Portrait study (June 2010) can be eye-opening. The study discovered that males in the age group of 25-34 are highly involved — at times as much as three times more than any other demographic group — in typical behaviors associated with shopping activities on mobile platforms such as finding reviews of products, checking availability and pricing of products, and even using coupons.
Of course, there are a couple of caveats to this general observation that one must keep in mind before jumping to the conclusion that men are comparing the price of tomatoes from one grocery store to the next willy nilly and will soon be found charging down the detergent aisle screaming “Where’s the Mr. Clean that’s 50 cents off?” First, recall that men are still more likely than women to own and use smartphones, and men in this demographic of 25-34 years of age, most likely of all. Also, men tend to be early adopters of technology more so than women (speaking quite generally of course). Put these two tendencies together, and the pool from which mobile shoppers are drawn is going to skew toward young males anyway.
Still, it’s a significant finding. For example, responses to one question revealed that while 7% of respondents overall reported using their mobile phone to search for an item to find better prices, 20% of males in the 25-34 year age group did so. Add this kind of data to estimates stemming from a number of recent studies that response rates to ads on the mobile platform can be as much as 10 times as for non-mobile online ads, and it’s clearly time for those hoping to sell products via the mobile platform to re-think their assumptions and approaches toward marketing in that environment.