Men vs. Women: Differences in Shopping Habits & Buying Decisions

Table of contents

The modern marketing strategies try to solve the basic problem of consumers in the area of consumption. To survive in the market, a firm has to be constantly innovating and understands the latest consumers’ needs and tastes. It will be extremely useful in manipulating marketing opportunities and meeting the challenges that the market offers.

Today consumers focus and prefer more on environment-friendly products rather than artificial. They are concerned about health, hygiene and fitness. They prefer natural and easily consumable products. Hence detailed study on approaching groups of consumers is essential for any firm and the growth of consumer protection movement has created an urgent need to understand how consumers make their consumption and buying decision.

Moreover, consumer taste and preferences are changing day by day. The attitude and behavior of such consumers are different. Men and women act differently with different type of stimuli and different parameters of evaluation. Women seem to have leisure and find pleasure while they shop. Whereas, men appear to be more disdain towards shopping. This leads to adopt different marketing strategies by the manufactures.

Gender is a very prominent factor; it plays a very crucial role in a purchase decision. Males are more externally focused while the female tends to be more internally focused. There are a lot of differences between males and females like if we analysis it in terms of psychological and physiological. They both show totally different behavior when they purchase any goods or services.

Where women are more independent and intuitive, men tend to be more systematic and logical who makes their opinion based on other people purchase rather than trying it themselves. Furthermore, men tend to make purchase based on the urgent needs rather than a long term one while women look a purchase as a long term decision.

Moreover, men tend to gather information through heuristic men as and gather salient cues in comparison to women who believe in depth information search. Further men tend to value quality and efficiency the most, while Women values emotional connect and relations. Marketers have to understand and use this segmentation factor cleverly in order to satisfy needs more correctly, precisely and effectively.

According to Dr. Neale Martin, a professor at Kennesan State college of Business: “The purchasing decisions of men and women are based more on habits than rational decision making”.

Comparison of shopping habits of men


Men look on shopping as a mission. Women take it as a casual exercise.
They locate the target. They can plan but never formulate.
Bachelor men generally shop alone or with same age group and
married can shop with their spouse. Women can shop with anyone and everyone.
They try to complete their shopping as quickly as possible. They will consume plenty of time, Sometimes whole day just shopping.
They avoid window shopping. They love window shopping.
Men routinely shop at the same store. Women are more inclined to shop around for the best buy.
Men favored quality and comfort with clearly identifiable pricing. Women favored almost everything they dreamed off.
Limit price-comparison shopping. Lots of price comparison.
As they finished with shopping, they immediately try to leave the shop. After finished with shopping, they will take a round and look
around if something is useful.

Men vs. Women way of shopping for clothes

It should not be surprising that men and women are doing things differently, we all know, but what do these differences mean when buying clothes? While researching about fashion, we spend a lot of time studying how men look for clothes online, and it comes as no surprise that we find that most clothing websites are geared towards the way women shop, even if they show men’s clothes.

With more and more men shopping online, it’s increasingly important to get away from the standard inconsistency so that online clothing retailers offer an experience that people are looking for.
There are lots of differences between the way men and women shop for clothes but there are three main differences hear about more than the rest:

Women prefer hunting clothes, while men like quick and effortless shopping:

Most women don’t satisfy with one or two choses, they just go for more and more options. They like hunting clothes because they enjoy shopping. To buy the best cloth for themselves, they compare colors, they contrast with more options and also compare prices. But on the other hand, men like quick and simple shopping for which they don’t have to go in variety of different shops. They just select what suits and buy.

Tony Ezell Vice President of Fli, lilly company states that, “once buying habits are established; they are difficult to dislodge because its human nature to resist changes”.

Women are okay with buying different sizes and then returning them again but men don’t:

Women try different sizes for more than one time to get the right fit and if once they don’t get the right size, they go again to the shop to return. But men don’t want to try on five different sizes to get the right fit, they want the right fit right away. That’s why once a man finds the best brand for him, he don’t switch to another one. This is the reason why men are more brand loyal. Also they don’t like the hassle of returning the product again and again. They buy a cloth just once.

Women love to buy clothes twice in every 15 days, men don’t;

Most women go to buy clothes every month and some of them go for shopping every week because women like to wear new clothes on every event or occasion while men do shopping once in three months, they don’t get worry in repeating clothes. Also women never gets satisfied with their wardrobe even when it is filled with clothes.

Men vs. Women shopping habits in buying grocery

In terms of Husband-Wife decision making, this category falls into the Wife-dominated decisions because women know what to cook at home or what is needed at home, so they decide what to buy in grocery. Mostly women make a list of grocery and then go for shopping whereas men don’t buy the whole grocery for the house alone, they go with their wives or mothers etc., It’s more common for men to head to the store with just a few things in mind. Men frequent the grocery store more often, buying more short-term groceries and leaving pretty quickly.

The difference between men and women when they are shopping for furniture:

Men and women simply can’t seem to agree when it comes to shopping. Unfortunately, this can lead to a very common scene at many stores, as a woman tries to take her time deciding and a man wants to get out of the hustle as soon as possible.

This is especially true in furniture shopping, which can drastically effect the appearance of an entire house, and which women tend to take very seriously.

What women think about shopping for furniture?

When a woman buys a piece of furniture, she isn’t just thinking about that particular item. She’s thinking about how it will fit in with the home.
Women value cohesiveness and design when purchasing furniture for their home.
When a woman buys something, she knows exactly where it will go and how it will look there.
Women desire a beautifully decorated home.

What men think about shopping for furniture?

The average man doesn’t really enjoy spending time in a furniture store, and will try and find what he needs quickly
Men are more likely to focus on the furniture itself rather than the design scheme of their entire house
Men want comfort, value and durability
They like to judge a chair or a table on its own merits. Is t comfortable? Is the price affordable? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to make a purchase!

Difference between habits of men and women in buying a car:
Buying a car is often considered a rite of passage, but once the shiny newness wears off, how men and women find a new car differs quite a bit. What affects how men and women choose a car?

What men look for?

In this type of buying category, men are supposed to take wise decisions because most cars are bought by men. 1 out of every 5 men knows what they are looking in buying a car? This includes total car details like car specifications, engine size, car durability, speed, CC engine, drive train, mileage, transmission type etc., which most of the women will not know. Men are more confident in buying a car and they make less time in making decision whether to buy a car or not.

Men prefer both interior and exterior look and quality, foe which they tend to get continuous knowledge of every new model of a famous brand like BMW, Audi, Toyota, and Honda etc.

What women look for?

Women don’t know much about vehicles and their specifications, so the thing they consider in buying a car is their color, its safety, reliability and how much comfortable it is? They take more time to decide in buying a car as compared to men.

Unlike men, women tend to prefer Asian non-luxury brands and prefer cars that are affordable and known for their durability and safety.
According to Bloomberg, “Women make more than 25% of the consumer purchases and influence 95% of total goods and service purchases. Women save more sophistically and take more time to make decisions”.

Car insurance:

Men are more likely to insure their car as they bought them because in this type of buying, men look for long term orientation. A study shows that man pay $15,000 more than women this is because men take more risks in vehicles as most men consider buying of car a passion.

Men vs. Women: online shopping habits

Online shopping is very common these days. With all the amenities this activity offers, it’s not surprising why more and more people are taking advantage of it. This trend is true for both men and women, as what you may be observing this time. As a person ages, he/she tends to spend a greater amount and time to buy online. At the age of 18, many people consider buying online not only for the convenience it provides, but also for the excellent offers it offers.

Most women prefer to buy online with a desktop computer while men prefer mobile devices. Men limit their research to certain products they have in mind when they buy, while women find other products in addition to their intended purchase interest. Both sexes consider price as a factor to be decided, but men tend to easily engage in quality over price, while women value the price and make a purchase with the best available offer.

When you consider advertising, social networks, advertising on paper, word of mouth, etc., they have the same effect. However, in some areas, men are different from women, like e-mails with offers that work best for women when they are looking for a product, while men randomly search for a product while they are browsing online. It is a good marketing strategy to send emails with product details and discount coupons for women. Women buy online in a relaxed atmosphere at home after completing all their domestic activities. If they receive an email with a good offer, they will be attracted to it and could close the deal.

Men tend to buy mostly food and drink when they are depressed. Women, when they are depressed, depend on retail therapy and the purchase of clothes and related items.
Women, in general, have a higher percentage of charitable contributions than men, except when the taxpayer turns out to be a widower or a widower. A widower is one who contributes more generously than any other category.

According to statistics, women between 45 and 54 are in the best moment of their career and may have less time to buy online, while men who are aging may be too busy having their middle-aged crisis to buy online. In fact, the hobby of people shopping online could change due to a number of reasons, which certainly include their individual busy careers.

There is also a specific moment of the day when men and women make large purchases online. According to the report, it is between 7 and 8 p.m. when most purchases are made by men, while it is between 12 and 1 p.m. for the women. Therefore, if you ever suspect that some of your coworkers are shopping during breaks for lunch, you probably are right. This time of committing to freedom in the middle of your workday could be just the mere free time that some women have to buy online.

There is also a variation in the average time when women and men complete their purchases. It is observed that men have a faster time with 10 minutes compared to women with 14 minutes. It is considered that a man’s decision on the purchase is a strategic execution, while the decision of a woman is a kind of philosophical examination. However, even with this consideration, men seem to have a higher average online purchase price of around $ 67.82 compared to women who spend around $ 51.84.

Women tend to be more participatory when it comes to shopping. They share trends, opportunities, sales information, etc. Conversations begin among their peers and are more likely to be affected by product reviews. They also tend to buy for the future, and not only in the need to buy. They are also more likely to make purchases for others than themselves. For women, shopping seems to have a lot to do with social interaction.

It is likely that men are online shoppers more headlines than women. That’s why they are more comfortable buying high-value products online. Men can also simply buy more items simultaneously to decrease shopping trips. Therefore, that extravagant entertainment system brought by that guy next door was completed with a click, including the game system, TV, Blur-Ray player and surround sound. This is not so crazy in any way.

It seems that men are more committed to the trend of online shopping. They even consider doing it even when they are at work. Men consider doing their weekend search on netbooks and iPads or even in an offline store, and then immediately go to their PCs to work when Monday arrives. This is to find the best price and complete your transaction with the full screen in front of them.

There are also variations in the return of a purchase in which men take 21 days, while women take more time with an average of 30 days. Obviously, men and women have different preferences when it comes to online shopping, but one thing is for sure, they both love doing the activity.

Who buys more men or women?

According to a new survey by First Insight, women are increasingly dependent on the Internet for shopping, while men still prefer bricks and mortar.
The survey found that men are less likely to use Amazon to buy the best price. Fewer men also subscribed to Amazon Prime, and fewer people adopt mobile shopping, according to the study.”Men are the destination drivers … They go to stores to touch and feel,” Greg Petro told First Insight. “They like to make a deal [in stores] and then take the items home with them.”

Women shoppers, he said, do not necessarily feel the need to go to stores in the same way. “This changes the way that retailers and brands need to react,” he said.
First Insight, a technology company that helps retailers select the best price for their products, is publishing the results of their study on Monday morning at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas. Survey of 1,000 consumers in December on their purchasing behavior, online and offline.

With a gender gap that opens a gap between how women and men make purchases, retailers must realize.

Companies should re-evaluate the inventory they carry in stores at a more segmented level, Petro said. With men looking for more products in person, for example, brands should have more options for them on the floor. Women, however, might only want to see a few of the best-selling items on display. Chances are they’ve already looked online or they’re planning to make a decision online later.

“I think the data suggests that women are more price sensitive and more bargain hunters … and are more apt to execute a value or price deal than men,” Petro said. Whereas “men are willing to wait longer”, but they do not necessarily do their research ahead of time.

According to the First Insight survey, men are more likely to shop at full-price stores (42 percent), at discount retailers or out-of-price stores (18 percent). Women prefer discount retailers (38 percent) over full price brands (31 percent).

“You do not want to give Jeff Bezos a seven-year lead.”

Listen to what buffett has to say:

Some of the female shoppers’ favorite stores include TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Home-goods, the study found, while fewer men mentioned visiting these places as often. These three brands are property of TJX Cos.
Companies still have a long way to go to meet the expectations of online and in-store buyers, given this “gender gap,” Petro said.

“I do not think the industry is doing a good job, frankly, to differentiate itself,” he said. “Retailers that used to be able to establish their own trends now do not have the listening mechanisms to understand where consumers are going, they’re used to leading rather than responding.”

The preferences of buyers today are changing faster than ever. Most want new products, and fast, constantly.
According to John Foster, marketing consultant and retail coach, “Men generally shop alone and seldom compare prices, they don’t care about the product being on sale, or what color it is, and they only compare quality”.
Difference between the shopping’s outcome of men and women:

For men shopping is always need based. Whatever they buy, mostly needed by them. Women don’t focus on need. Their shopping generally depends on wants.
Satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Happiness, excitement, disappointment.

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