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Men More Likely to Make Mobile Purchases

Posted on 12.15.2014

A new study suggests that men are more likely to make purchases on mobile devices than women. Surprised?

The study, which is titled “Holiday Shopping in a Cross-Screen World” and conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and Precision Market Insights from Verizon, shows that men are much more likely than women to go beyond browsing and research on their mobile device and make an actual purchase via a smartphone (56 percent vs. 45 percent). Moreover, this gender difference is even greater within the younger demographic, with 76 percent of male smartphone users ages 18 – 34 making a purchase via smartphone in a typical month, compared to only 59 percent of females in the same age category.

The study also found that smartphone users ages 18 – 34 are among the biggest spenders on mobile, with 39 percent of respondents in this age group saying they spend at least $51 or more via their smartphone in an average month. Comparatively, only 27 percent of the overall survey participants claimed to spend that much within a month. That said, parents with children under the age of 18 also tend to be big spenders on smartphones.

When it comes to mobile shopping habits this holiday season, the study reveals that 51 percent of respondents will use their devices to get the best prices on items and save money, while 36 percent will shop via their smartphones to save time and 35 percent use their device to make it quick and easy to search, research and find what they are looking for.

“We see this research as reflecting the growing importance of smartphones among the multiplicity of screens, media, and devices at consumers’ disposal, signaling an opportunity for marketers to reach consumers at the time and place where they are already holiday shopping – on their phones,” said Anna Bager, senior vice president, mobile and video, IAB. “In addition, with smartphones, tablets, and other devices gaining traction as shopping channels year-round, it is important that we understand exactly how consumers interact with these screens to research, shop for, and purchase products, so advertisers can accurately target them in a timely fashion, as they are doing on other media platforms.”

It is also important to note that the data shows holiday-themed ads have caught the eye of U.S. smartphone users, with 92 percent of respondents claiming to have seen holiday advertisements prior to Thanksgiving across media channels. Less than a third of respondents, however, said they specifically saw holiday-related ads on their phones during the same time period. That said, advertisers have a good opportunity to reach consumers who are primed to spend during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, which is referred to as “New Device Week.” During this time, one in five smartphone users say they plan to spend part of the week learning about and purchasing accessories for new devices received over the holidays.

“Conventional wisdom has held that consumers may not be as receptive to advertising messages during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but with nearly one in five American smartphone users planning to spend ‘New Device Week’ learning about and accessorizing newly received devices, advertisers have a unique opportunity to connect with an audience that is engaged and primed to make a purchase,” said Colson Hillier, Vice President, Precision Market Insights.


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