Once the last piece of pumpkin pie is eaten, Thanksgiving thoughts that used to turn to naptimes now switch to navigating mall traffic. After all, this year some retailers are planning to open so early, they'll never really shut down on Turkey Day in the first place. And many shoppers are looking forward to two of the biggest shopping days of the year—Black Friday and Cyber Monday—eager for deals in-store and online.
So just how do these two shopping “holidays” stack up in the battle of the sexes? A recent English-language Nielsen survey asked both men and women shoppers and found some interesting differences.
While 52% of all survey respondents said they plan to shop on Black Friday this year, men are more apt to brave the in-store crowds. In fact, 53% of men said they plan to shop in-store, compared with 50% of women. However, Black Friday—a traditional brick-and-mortar shopping experience—is getting a tech boost. Forty percent of those polled said they actually shop online on Black Friday. Despite pundit predictions about the waning salience of Black Friday, a quarter of consumers polled plan to undertake their first Black Friday store visits this year. These first timers comprise 29% of men and 22% of women.
So where are these eager shoppers headed? The top five Black Friday destinations are department stores (56%), discount stores/mass merchandisers (55%), electronic stores (49%), online (40%) and toy stores (26%). When split by gender, men prefer to visit electronic stores, followed by department stores, mass merchandisers, online and then club stores. Women, meanwhile, prefer to do their holiday shopping at department stores, followed by mass merchandisers, online, electronic and then toy stores.
Not surprisingly, many of the top gifts wrapped up this season will be found at the top shopping spots. The top five items consumers plan to purchase this Black Friday are apparel (58%), consumer electronics (52%), video games/consoles (45%), gift cards (36%) and toys (34%). When split by gender, men say they'll be looking to buy consumer electronics, video games/consoles and then apparel while women will be putting apparel, video games/consoles and then toys in their baskets.
Slightly more shoppers (55%) plan to shop on Cyber Monday this year than Black Friday. But women will be more active on this online shopping day: 60% of women plan on shopping Cyber Monday versus 50% of men.
Not surprisingly, the top sources for information on Cyber Monday sales are retailers' websites (59%), Cyber Monday deal websites (57%) and emails (49%). In addition, 39% of shoppers this year will turn to social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter for deal details while 33% of shoppers will still use "old school" newspapers or circulars. When viewed through a gender lens, men tend to skew toward Cyber Monday deal websites, and women gravitate toward retailer websites.
One reason more shoppers plan to shop Cyber Monday may be the greater number of virtual "doors" to stores. In the U.S., 75% of mobile subscribers (75% of men and 76% of women) currently own smartphones, and 51% of mobile subscribers (52% of women and 51% of men) in the U.S. currently own tablets. And according to Nielsen’s third-quarter 2014 Connected Device Report, two top reasons for consumers planning to purchase a new tablet in the next three months are still wanting the latest technology (43%) and wanting a faster device (30%). For those that have already made the upgrade, it was because they wanted a newer/trendier device (37%).
With a growing number of devices at shoppers' fingertips, the most popular device used for Cyber Monday shopping is still a laptop (89%), followed by a smartphone/cellphone and tablet (33% for each). By gender, 90% of men say they plan shop via a computer/laptop versus 88% women. But men also say they plan let their thumbs do the shopping (41%), preferring smartphones for Cyber Monday spending over women (28%). And 35% of men are planning to shop on a tablet, compared with 31% of women.
No matter which day shoppers choose, retailers should see a big boost in sales. On both days, more than half (56%) of shoppers are planning to spend between $100 and $500 dollars. And on Black Friday, 30% of consumers plan to spend $250-$500 on holiday purchases.
The insights from the post were culled from a number of Nielsen sources: