A new study from Shoppercentric suggests men are more likely to use social media to shop while women prefer to use social media to interact with others, with the male gender apparently embracing social media as a whole than their female counterparts.
The headline figures in the report revealed:
- 38% of men own a smartphone compared to just 29% of women.
- While 56% of those surveyed use Facebook a gender gap is evident with 60% of women Facebook users compared to just 52% of men.
Shopping is where the gender difference is really highlighted with men much more likely to choose ecommerce than women.
- 14% of men said they shopped using apps, but only 8% of women do – although this is partly off-set by the different uptake of smartphones across the genders.
- In the hunt for a bargain, 27% of male shoppers admitted to using price comparison sites, while only 19% of women do.
Interestingly, while the internet may offer an easier direct route direct to brands for the consumer, the traditional choice of going to a shop stocking a range of brands is still favoured – even online. 75% of those surveyed said they had visited retail websites, but only 33% said they had gone to brand websites.
The figures offer a useful insight for marketeers looking at the best way to connect with potential customers. Of some concern is that while two thirds would buy online, only 6% were likely to do so social media. This may be due to the lack of opportunity at present and the early evolution of ecommerce via social media but is something retailers need to consider addressing.
In terms of social media, the main reasons given for customers connecting with brands was found to be:
- 32% – finding out something new
- 23% – for brands to connect with them
- 24% – to be sold something by brands
- 12% – for brands or retailers to help them have fun
Revealingly, more than half (54%) of people thought brands or retailers used social media to sell more products, while 43% thought it was “because everyone else is”.
The report also highlighted the reasons consumers chose to follow brands on social media:
- 32% – feel part of a group
- 29% – to be part of a forum
- 10% – for discounts or promotions
- 6% – to complain
The tone of social media should also be considered given the results of age group and their use of brand engagement through social networks. The strongest age group was revealed as 16-24 year olds at 38% but within the 35-44 year old bracket (18%) and 45-54 (8%) and 55+(0%) there is clearly work to be done to get them to embrace brand offerings via social media, particularly when 56% of the 55+ age group said they could not see the point of social networking.
While some of the results may not be surprising, the breakdown of how different age-groups and genders use social media to interact could and should help brands develop their own social media policies.
Do you buck the trend? Do these results surprise you?
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