Everyone knows that men and women buy different products. Physiologically speaking, they simply need different product—different underwear, shoes, toiletries, and a host of other products. 1Men and women also shop differently. One study by Resource Interactive, a technology research firm, found that when shopping online, men prefer sites with lots of pictures of products; women prefer to see products online in lifestyle context—say, a lamp in a living room. Women are also twice as likely as men to use viewing tools such as the zoom and rotate buttons and links that allow them to change the color of products.
In general, men have a different attitude about shopping than women do. You know the old stereotypes: Men see what they a want and buy it, but women “shop ‘til they drop.” There’s some truth to the stereotypes. Otherwise, you wouldn’t see so many advertisements directed at one sex or the other—beer commercials that air on ESPN and commercials for household products that air on Lifetime. In fact, women influence fully two-thirds of all household product purchases, whereas men buy about three-quarters of all alcoholic beverages. 2
The shopping differences between men and women seem to be changing, though. For example, younger, well-educated men are less likely to believe grocery shopping is a woman’s job. They would also be more inclined to bargain shop and use coupons if the coupons were properly targeted at them. 3 One survey found that approximately 45 percent of married men actually like shopping and consider it relaxing.
Many businesses today are taking greater pains to figure out “what men want.” Products such as face toners and body washes for men, such as the Axe brand, are a relatively new phenomenon. So are hair salons such as the Men’s Zone and Weldon Barber. Some advertising agencies specialize in advertising directed at men. Keep in mind that there are also many items targeted toward women that weren’t in the past, including products such as kayaks and mountain bikes.