New survey highlights shopping habits of men

As male-influenced shopping rises, a new Integer survey finds 63% of men fill their own needs before those of the family.
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A new Integer survey has found a shocking fact: men shop differently than women.

Okay, perhaps it’s not that shocking, but it’s important to keep in mind as men increasingly influence grocery and shopping spend, says Marcus Evans, managing director, Integer Canada.

Some of the results aren’t exactly a surprise. For example, they found that 60% of men want to get in and out of a store as quickly as possible, and only 26% take time to explore the store.

“Overall male shoppers appear generally less engaged in [the] whole weekly shopping process,” Evans says. “Meaning they are less influenced by brands, less motivated by discounts and promotions and consequently less likely to make impulse purchases as they are more mission focused.”

However, Evans adds, there is a silver lining: for one, men are selfish shoppers, especially when compared to women.

The survey found that men will fill their personal needs first, and then the household or family needs second. Only 39% of men believe they should fill the shopping needs of family members above their own, Evans say.

“It’s okay to give males the opportunity to be selfish,” he says. “It’s cool to say ‘you’ rather than ‘family’ when selling to men.”

Men are also less price sensitive than women: despite the recession, only 39% of men looked for fewer or cheaper items in store, with only 29% of those men specifically spending less.

This means that guys are susceptible to self-oriented impulse purchases, even if it’s at a higher price point, he says.

This all comes on the heels of a nationwide US survey of 1,000 fathers conducted by Yahoo! and market research firm DB5 released early this year, which found that 51% of men were the primary grocery shoppers in their household. Of that group, 60% said they were the primary decision makers regarding consumer package goods, which includes packaged food. While the Canadian study didn’t look at the same dataset, Evans says the numbers here are similar.

Smart brands, Evans adds, will start marketing to men differently, a trend he’s noticed in the US, but not as much in Canada. For example, retailers could lay out their stores to be friendlier to the get-in-get-out male shoppers, while brands could retool their advertising messages to be less emotional and more rational.

“There are two different people driving the revenue in terms of shopping and you need to talk to them differently,” he says. “Men aren’t so good at responding to the altruistic mom-oriented advertising that’s going on these days.”

Photo: Sook Sung, Flickr Creative Commons