Purchase habits converge in UK

25 October 2011

LONDON: Male and female shoppers in the UK still display divergent attitudes to making purchases, but younger men often have more in common with women than their older counterparts, a study has shown.

Shoppercentric, the research agency, polled 1,001 adults in the country, and found 54% of male respondents now go shopping at least once every couple of days.

In all, 49% of male consumers only liked engaging in this activity if they "knew" what they were going to buy, a total reaching 38% among females. An additional 31% of men regularly made purchases from the "first store they visited", falling to 23% for women.

When acquiring non-food items, 36% of male customers went to no more than two stores before making decisions, compared with 23% of women. However, 11% of female customers will go to ten stores or more, but just 4% of men did the same.

Men in the 18-24 year old demographic displayed differing priorities, as 63% were "often reminded" of something they wanted to buy in bricks and mortar outlets, measured against an average of 48% for all males, and 67% of women.

Similarly, 38% of 18-24 year old men commonly bought items on impulse, 13 percentage points above the average across their gender, and eight points ahead of the figure posted by women.

A further 24% of the young male audience, and 22% of their counterparts in the 25-34 year old age range, made shopping a "social event with their friends", as did 22% of women.

Looking online, 54% of men surf the internet every couple of days, as do 47% of women. The average browsing session when considering non-food goods is between 30 minutes and an hour for both groups.

During an individual browsing session related to such products, 84% of men and women will visit between one and five sites.

When choosing different websites, price was named as an important factor by 53% of men, beating the assortment available on 15% and perceived product quality on 14%. Just 4% of males and 6% of females said they never shopped on the web.

"The findings ... support the already established stereotype that men prefer to plan their shopping and spend less time browsing," Danielle Pinnington, Shoppercentric's managing director, said. "The issue we've identified, and needs to be addressed, is that most stores don't suit them - hence the internet being a preferred channel for many."

Data sourced from Shoppercentric; additional content by Warc staff