The famous American engineer, statistician and author Deming said “In God we trust. All others must bring data”. And in today’s data economy “bringing data” is no longer the big issue but the challenge is how to make the best use out of the massive pools of collected data. Online shops are trying to collect as much data as they can to feed their “machines” so that they can learn and target their customers wisely. The end goal is to reach the right customer with the right product or service and the right message on the right device via the right channel at the right timing when he/she is most likely to click that button and make the buying decision. New tools become available to assist this complicated process and help with marketing automation but still, people need to set the ground rules, look at the results and make informed decisions. The pursuit of growth is never ending, therefore the hunt of new customers is constant along with the efforts to retain the current ones and give them good reasons to spend more and more.
The data about the online shopping behavior of men and women might help e-shops in the creation of their customer acquisition strategies and other marketing decisions.
Here are the key findings according to the Eurostat’s most recent data published for Europe.
More than 30% of Europeans who never placed an online order didn’t do so mostly because of the preference to shop in person. However, men prove that they don’t mind the lack of human interaction when shopping as they are bigger online shoppers than women or 69% of male internet users in Europe made online orders in the past 12 months compared to 66% of female internet users.
The data about the frequency of online purchases in the last 3 months (January – March 2018) shows that men are more frequent online shoppers than women in Europe :
- Purchased 1 to 2 times: Women (36%) VS Men (34%)
- Purchased 3 to 5 times: Women (35%) VS Men (34%)
- Purchased 6 times or more: Women (28%) VS Men (31%)
In addition, men spend more online compared to women. The chart below shows the online expenditure by gender in the past 3 months (January – March 2018). We can see that women are more represented for the amounts up to 100€, while men dominate all categories above.
When it comes to what do men and women buy online here are six product categories European men buy more than women online:
- Travel and holiday accommodation (Men 37% Women 35%, Avg 36%)
- Household goods (Men 32% Women 30%, Avg 31%)
- Tickets for events (Men 27% Women 26%, Avg 26%)
- Film/Music (Men 22% Women 16%, Avg 19%)
- Computer software (Men 22% Women 11%, Avg 17%)
- Computer hardware (Men 17% Women 7%, Avg 12%)
Women, on the other hand, are buying the following product categories more online:
- Food/groceries (Men 14% Women 18%, Avg 16%)
- Clothes, sports goods (Men 40% Women 46%, Avg 43%)
- Books/magazines/e-learning material (Men 23% Women 25%, Avg 24%)
- Medicine (Men 8% Women 10%, Avg 9%)
(The numbers show the share of population aged 16 to 74 that made an online order in the past 12 months expressed as a percentage of individuals who used internet within the last year.)
As long as numbers hold true and can help us make better decisions going beyond and digging deeper whenever we can afford to do so is always a good idea. For instance, in my company, profiling buyer personas of different product categories showed that men buy more travel and holiday packages than women, which is in line with the Eurostat data depicted above. However, after diving a bit deeper, we were surprised to find out that very often women search for travel holidays, pick the travel deal and send the link to their husband who then completes the transaction. Therefore we spend more on advertising travel deals to women, rather than men despite they are more frequent buyers.