There is a surprising finding in the Performics 2011 Social Shopping Study. It found that men are more likely than women to conduct five of six social shopping activities.
Contradicting commonly held beliefs about gender and social behaviors, the study showed men more frequently research product information, read reviews, compare products, find product availability and get store information via social networks, shopping and deal sites; while women reign supreme when searching for deals, coupons and specials on similar sites.
Aside from Facebook, men frequent social networks (at least once a month) substantially more than women:
- YouTube (54 vs. 34 percent)
- Twitter (37 vs. 24 percent)
- Google+ (36 vs. 24 percent)
- Myspace (31 vs. 20 percent)
- LinkedIn (20 vs. 16 percent)
- Facebook (96 vs. 97 percent)
“Women are reported to control about 80 percent of household spending, so it may be surprising for some to see men play a more dominant role in the social shopping and research process,” said Dana Todd, SVP, marketing and business development for Performics. “But given recent reports of ‘digital dads’ and increases in shared shopping activities across genders, this new data is intriguing.
“We’ve layered social network behavior with shopping patterns and the results are helpful for marketers trying to predict how social shopping figures into upcoming holiday campaigns. Many may not have considered specifically targeting men in social ads.”
Aside from key gender differences, the study, conducted by ROI Research Inc., also revealed that active social networkers most often turn to shopping sites like Amazon, eBay or brand websites to begin the purchase process when searching for a product (87 percent) and right before they commit to a purchase (83 percent).
They are more likely to turn to social networks such as Facebook immediately after the purchase to share their experience (59 percent).
“Many people have integrated social media in all phases of the shopping process, particularly because Facebook is how they connect with friends on mobile devices and at home. We all do it—asking friends, family or colleagues to weigh in on a purchase, or posting a great find,” added Todd. “But it’s not all about social activity; shopping and deal sites are certainly holding their own and offer an excellent opportunity for marketers to participate with customers.”
Online activity while shopping in-store is also gaining popularity—many respondents said they occasionally or frequently conduct in-store social (20–50 percent) or search (18–62 percent) activities. In fact:
- Sixty-two percent said they conduct competitive price searches while in a retail location
- Forty-five percent “check-in” at a store
- Forty-one percent use a search engine on their mobile phone to look for information
- Thirty percent use a barcode scanner on their mobile phone to shop for prices
- Twenty-five percent pause while at a physical location prior to finalizing a purchase in order to seek advice on a social network; 41percent said they wait between five and 10 minutes for advice on social sites before proceeding with their purchase
The study explored the role of social networks, shopping sites and deal sites across many different aspects of the shopping experience, including phases of the purchase process, product categories, in-store shopping behaviors, gender differences and more.
- Mothers are more engaged with social media than other women (infographic)
- Study shows how social networks perform for retailers (infographic)
- Blog advice drives electronics buys for most women
- Do you prefer connecting online? You’re not alone (Slideshow)
- Email, search outperformed social networks in online holiday shopping (infographic)
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