Monthly Archives

February 2013

Hispanics Still Lead the Mobile Charge

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By now it’s well known that Hispanic consumers overindex for most digital behaviors. An August 2012 study from Acosta Sales & Marketing found that Hispanic consumers were more likely than the average shopper to use a smartphone (51% vs. 41% for non-Hispanics) as well as text, stream music and video, and use mobile apps. But what truly sets Hispanics apart, studies suggest, is their mobile internet shopping behavior.


When researchers studied mobile shopping behaviors, a sharp divide emerged between Hispanics and non-Hispanics. A May study from Leo Burnett and Lapiz found Hispanic consumers were approximately 70% more likely than non-Hispanic consumers to shop by mobile phone (56% of Hispanics vs. 33% of non-Hispanics) and by tablet (43% vs. 25%). In other words, not only are Hispanics more likely than non-Hispanics to use a smartphone, but they’re a lot more likely to shop with it.


The takeaway: It’s not just a higher rate of digital adoption that separates Hispanic from non-Hispanic consumers, it’s how that technology is put to use.

Shave and a Haircut…Online

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A new eMarketer report says large proportions of men regularly use body wash, shampoo and shave cream, but personal care marketers are challenged as they target men beyond these basic grooming products. Younger men ages 18 – 34 may be key to sales of men’s personal care products, because they are driving sales of personal care services. eMarketer says 25% of men in this age group have had a manicure or pedicure, while 38% have had a facial or body treatment. By contrast, just 15% of men ages 55 and older say they’ve had a facial or body treatment.


Also key to growth may be the online channel, where men report purchasing health and beauty products significantly more often than other CPG items such as pet supplies and groceries. And since men increasingly research online—on desktop and mobile—creating ecommerce “man aisles” is one way CPG marketers may be able to reach males more effectively.

More Internet Time on Smartphones

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As consumers increasingly rely on smartphones as a major source of Internet access, a new GfK analysis shows social media comprises the largest share of online time via these devices. Social media activities account for 31% of smartphone online minutes, compared to only 18% of the online minutes for PCs.  GfK’s trend data show the Internet use encouraged by smartphone apps – specifically checking social sites and email – may be affecting how consumers approach online time via PCs. The percent of time devoted to uncategorized “Other” Internet activities on PCs has dropped by almost half in just a year, from 37% in 2011 to 20% in 2012. Meanwhile time spent accessing online video via PCs has doubled from a 7% share to 13%, and time with social media and email also grew.

Phones now account for 17% of total time spent with the Internet across all devices, compared to 12% in 2011. Desktop and laptop computers, by contrast, have dropped off considerably, representing 73% of Internet time, compared to 83% a year ago. Tablets account for 6% of online time – double the 2011 figure of 3%; and Internet TV time also doubled, from 2% of online time in 2011 to 4% this year.


Male Millennials the New Fashion Fanatics

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Boston Consulting Group says U.S. Millennial men are knowledgeable about clothing, like buying it, and have formed brand preferences. Among male Millennials, 38% reported shopping for clothing more than twice a month, compared with only 10% of non-Millennial men. Male Millennials also spend twice as much on apparel per year as the men of previous generations with the difference consistent across all ethnic groups, incomes, and household types.


Millennials tend to shop in groups and consider the opinions of others more than non-Millennials. Millennial men try fewer apparel brands and retail formats and have fewer favorite brands relative to Millennial women. When Millennial men do try a new brand, they are more likely than Millennial women to convert and stay loyal. They also tend to stay with brands over time and as they age, more so than their female counterparts who report “outgrowing” brands earlier.


Male Millennials seek a more fun and energizing place to shop than do non-Millennial males (54% versus 39%) and also value the music played and store roominess more than their non-Millennial counterparts. Millennial men value sales associates who are trendy (45% versus 22%) and wear store merchandise (46% versus 33%). Perhaps not surprisingly, male Millennials also value the store associate as fashion expert and advisor even more than their female counterparts.

Young Men’s New Shopping Buddy

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A Google/Ipsos/OTX study says guys 18-34 years old look to the internet for advice at every stage along the purchase path, from brand awareness to brand loyalty. They conduct an average 25 searches per week, a rate twice that of the general population, and say they learn about new products via the internet about 71% of the time vs. 57% of the time via TV. Online video is particularly important in the purchase process with 52% saying they hear about new products from video and 27% using it to decide on their final purchase.

Millennials Care About Image

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Scarborough Research finds that Millennials are focused on image and status, and are 41% more likely than all U.S. adults to agree they strive to achieve a high social status. Millennials are 32% more likely to agree they’re influenced by what’s hot and what’s not, and 47% more likely to agree they like to live a lifestyle that impresses others.


This point of view translates into the products they consume and what motivates them to choose a brand.  Almost half (45%) of Millennials agree they’d pay extra for a product consistent with the image they want to convey, and 51% agree that being able to customize an item to their image makes them more willing to purchase it. Celebrities also have a strong influence on Millennials with this generation 41% more likely than all U.S. adults to agree that when a celebrity designs a product, they’re more likely to buy it.


Rise of the “Mansumer”

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BPN Media Group’s list of Retail Trends for 2013 includes the rise of the “Mansumer” – a new breed of male shoppers, created in part by the recession, who are now Chief Buying Officers for their households and make a majority of the household purchase decisions.


BPN says that while the job market for men has recently improved, the lasting effects of the recession have altered the traditional “provider” paradigm. 40% of men are now the primary grocery shopper in the household; 44% of men say they equally share in housecleaning; and 86% agree being a man equals doing what is necessary to keep the household running.


With men becoming the chief buyer in some American households, advertising and common marketing practices will need to change with the times. For men, the shopping activity is more functional than emotional and the purpose is to solve a problem or meet a need.  To them, the priority is convenience and being able to make informed decisions. Thus retailers should:


  • Replace the words “Can I help you” with “Let’s do this.”
  • Focus messaging on simplicity, ease and value.
  • Ensure product reviews, information and comparisons live within product advertising.
  • Provide product availability and store information in online ads.