The Rise of the Male Shopper
At this point in time, no one can deny the fact that male shoppers are becoming more common. According to data gathered by IBIS World and shared by Quartz, growth in menswear online sales from 2010 to 2015 outpaced every other category analysts were tracking, such as computers and tablets or groceries:
While the market of womenswear has been expanding and saturating for decades, this new rise of the male shopper creates a remarkable opportunity for fashion brands and retailers. Here are some key facts regarding male consumers that retailers should leverage:
1. It is an ongoing tendency.
There might be some people who are worried that the trend towards male shopping is very new and that it will represent some passing fad. However, experts were noting that men's clothing sales were increasing at a faster rate than women's clothing sales as far back as 2006, when the National Retail Federation of the United States reported the "strong sales in T-shirts, jeans, tailored clothing and pajamas" , which helped fuel growth in the North American apparel industry.
A trend that lasts for more than a decade seems like something to trust, especially since the tendency is forecasted to remain positive. Men are clearly purchasing clothes and accessories more frequently than they did in the past, and this will only continue.
2. Social media is having an impact on where men purchase clothes and what they buy.
Men will often purchase clothes based on what they see on social media, especially Instagram, which enables them to discover new fashion trends and influencers: "Men who whould have never bought an issue of GQ or Esquire are much more comfortable following style influencers on Instagram" says Alexa Tonner, co-founder of influencer network Collectively.
In a world of social media, people will often want products as quickly as possible. This means that the men's apparel market is growing particularly quickly with regards to casual clothing. Men are buying more casual yet stylish articles of clothing, and they are often using social media channels in the process.
A lot of men are now enthusiastic about the trends and the ads that they see on social media. They might directly purchase something online right after seeing it on a social media website. Retailers are using social media advertising and online advertising more often than other forms of advertising, and an estimated 65% of retailers say that Facebook is one of the best venues of all. This is a trend that should only continue.
3. Men have a strong tendency to shop online.
Men do shop in physical store locations. However, they do seem to prefer online shopping to shopping in stores. According to a research carried out by Business Insider Intelligence, an estimated 40% of men under the age of thirty-five would purchase absolutely everything online if they could.
Male shoppers have become more numerous in general, but this change has been particularly pronounced in the world of online shopping. The convenience of online shopping is important for everyone, and it seems to be particularly valuable for male shoppers.
4. Men are much less likely than women to return the products that they have purchased.
Targeting male shoppers is a particularly good idea because women are much more likely to return their purchases than men. Return policies can ultimately be costly for a lot of stores, even though the exact costs vary. One way or another, it's always in the best interest of retailers to minimize returns.
An estimated 74% of the products that are returned in a retail context were initially purchased by female shoppers. The reasons behind this phenomenon are debatable, but it's very clear that men are the shoppers who are more likely to keep what they have purchased.
The idea that shopping is a pursuit that only women enjoy is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Market research shows that men spend ten dollars more per month on fashion and accessories than women, and looking to the future, the progression of the tendency of growth shows the industry of menswear will continue to grow.