male-female-shoppingAn online presence is now a major part of many of our lives. In the UK, it’s estimated that there are over 50 million people who use the Internet; around 87% of the population. And, with this increase in Internet usage, the number of people doing their shopping online has also increased. Around three-quarters of Britons now do some form of shopping online, spending over £90 billion annually.

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The percentage of men and women who use the Internet is almost the same (in the UK, 89% of men and 85% of women are online). But, that doesn’t mean that they use the Internet in the same ways. Although shopping is often seen as a predominantly female activity, an increasing number of men and now choosing to shop online. However, the way men and women shop online can be very different, and this is likely to have an effect on your email marketing:

Women Like Fashion, Men Like Technology

Although there are exceptions to this, in general, women shop online for food, drinks and fashion, and men shop online for software, hardware and electronics. If you are a retailer that sells all these things, your email marketing should reflect this, depending on whether you’re targeting male or female shoppers.

Tesco target their male shoppers with emails like this:

Men are generally swayed by practicality when shopping online. Therefore, they have kept this marketing email very simple, just linking to information so the reader can find out more.

In contrast, they target women with emails like this:

This email strays from Tesco’s usual template. It is much more design-led, playing on women’s appreciation of design and aesthetics. It also have direct links to different items, making it much easier to impulse buy; something women do much more than men.

Men Like Mobile Shopping

Although women shop more online in general, Business Insider has found that it’s actually men that shop more on their mobiles. They found that 22% of men made a purchase on their smartphones last year, compared to 18% of women. This highlights the importance of using a responsive design, particularly if your customer base is predominantly men. With an effective responsive design, a user can read the email, click through, and make a purchase, all on their smartphone.

Saltrock used a responsive design for their email showcasing men’s T-shirts:

Notice how they have kept the design of this email very simple, and made it easy to click through to the products.

Women Like Returns

Because women tend to make more spontaneous purchases than men, they like to feel reassured that they can return any items they buy if they’re not quite right. While your website should have a page dedicated to your returns policy, you can also mention it in your email. It could help to persuade your female shoppers to make a purchase.

Simply Beach dedicated an entire email to their delivery and returns policy:

While there are a number of differences in the ways men and women shop online, they have one thing in common: more of them are using the Internet for their shopping than ever before. By taking the gender make up of your customer base into account when putting together your email marketing campaigns, you should see increasing levels of success into the future.