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Demographics: Wealthier Men Outpace Women In Online Shopping

Never mind the perception that men dislike shopping. They spend plenty online, reports USA Today. According to digital performance company iProspect, 19 million affluent American men are online, the majority of them shopping, and about half of them spend $4,000+ per year. Leading the growth trend? Luxury items, particularly clothing and accessories. Affluent men prefer to both research and buy goods online, and typically, they are buying for themselves rather than purchasing gifts. For example, high-end clothiers and home goods seller Gilt Groupe, which offers clothing for men, women and children, reports that men outspend women online by between 20 and 30%.

They Want to ShopMobile, With Apps

Those men expect to buy when and where they want to—increasingly on mobile devices. According to industry think tank Luxury Institute, of the 62% of wealthy Americans who own a smartphone, 45% own an iPhone and 35% an Android-based device, with BlackBerry holding on at 25%.  They spend their time checking weather and news, but 42% use mobile apps to spend on travel. Another 67% of wealthy smartphone users shop on their devices and 63% regularly buy goods or services. Half of shoppers make purchases at least monthly, with almost 80% spending more than $100 on mobile phone transactions in the past year, and 25% spending in excess of $1,000.

Interestingly, it is not fashion that leads in purchases: Event tickets (39%), gift cards (29%), and food and electronics (both 27%) are the top purchase categories.

“The study showed an incredible opportunity for mobile in luxury,” says Melody Adhami, president and COO of Plastic Mobile. “Not only are affluent Americans using mobile, but they are really taking advantage of its benefits, with more than 80% of consumers downloading apps.”

“Smart luxury firms recognize the potential of their mobile presence to boost sales and get closer to their customers,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Customers clearly view smartphones as part of the new shopping experience.”

iProspect found that the website affluent males check out, more than any other, is Amazon—perhaps indicating that they prefer their shopping experience to be consolidated under one umbrella, aimed at the best deal.

Finally, Kiehl's, the high-end personal-care retailer, reports that men are more likely to buy in bulk, and 53% will return to Kiehl’s—pretty remarkable retention.

Women are by no means absent from luxury online buys. But the perception of men as grudging shoppers who live in their favorite pair of threadbare Dockers and a long-faded Polo shirt is misguided. They are loyal, willing and well-connected online buyers.

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