How Tablets Are Changing Gender Targeting Trends

Digging deeper into retail patterns and the impact of the transient mobile consumer, I’ve begun to change my thinking about gender-based control of household spending.  

For many years, I believed that the woman was the gateway to brand loyalty, influencing not only Gen-X but Baby Boomers and their Millennial friends.  Mobile trends only reinforced my beliefs. Woman have control at all points of purchase, at home, on the run, have access to more information than they ever have and payment options were endless. 

What I didn’t expect was what’s happening with men and the mass adoption of tablets.  Picture this:

Everyone has a mobile, but now they are smarter, bigger and more fun, and are replacing the PC at home.  Tablets = increased browse and shopping behavior.  According to Shopgate Mobile Commerce Index, when it comes to mobile average order value, tablets beat smartphones, Apple tops Android, and men spend more than women.   The values of online retail directly lines up with why men buy online: 

  • Access to better prices
  • Easier  roduct comparison
  • Discreet purchases
  • More variety
  • Less expensive to shop
  • Lack of crowds thereof



While retail spending for men is still only a percentage of women’s total spend, still online retailers had better pay a lot more attention to this gender and the mobile device patterns. 

As marketers try to optimize holidays, special events and the daypart patterns of tablets and mobile consumption of email, they are also trying to optimize content at the point of engagement.  All in all, it just got a lot harder.   Do you send in the morning, as you normally do?  Do you send and then optimize send time and let behaviors dictate patterns?  Do you send and deliver content on demand, so regardless of device or time, your offer/content is on-point?  

First we have to ensure we get it into consumers’ primary inbox.  Second we have to try to get it there when it’s not stacked under 20 other promotions.  We have to consider the effects of mobile triage, vs tablet browsing behavior.  We have to worry about content, to minimize the production complexity involved in personalizing the right product offerings to the right audience.  Now you need to separate gender on top of that?  For some retailers, this is quite a challenge to know what to do first, last and what to repeat.

My belief is that daypart patterns will dictate purchase patterns, as they always have.  Mobile and geo location will help with Mobile POS challenges, but don’t translate to online commerce and a reach challenge.  

Here are a few things I’d do:

  • Target men at night when they are shopping (to optimize online retail).
  • Target women in the morning (for browsing and share-worthy content), but do it after 9 and assume they are using their smartphones.
  • Turn on Send Time Optimization for daily readership email types (publisher) and let it optimize reach and engagement based on proven patterns (review four times a year).
  • Use RealTime content for the infrequent responder, where relevant content is at a premium.

As Winston Churchill said, “It’s always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.”

1 comment about "How Tablets Are Changing Gender Targeting Trends".
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  1. Craig Mcdaniel from Sweepstakes Today LLC, June 30, 2014 at 1:41 p.m.

    Respectfully, tablets are such a small market now, I think it is to early to start this discussion. I am see only 3 to 4 percent using tables or cell phones. The desktop and laptops still rule. The desktop and laptop user will buy more, spend more time online and visit more websites. Tablets will gain but will be limited to hardware and software improvements.

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