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Meet the Mansumer

December 28th, 2012 ::

By Rieva Lesonsky

Do you want your retail business to enjoy continued sales success long after the holiday shopping season ends? Then you need to know about a new kind of shopper that’s on the rise and will be increasingly important in 2013 and beyond: the “mansumer.”

Created partly by the Great Recession, this new breed of male shoppers have become Chief Buying Officers for their households, and are now making the majority of household purchasing decisions, according to the BPN 2013 Retail Trends Report. With job losses during the recession disproportionately affecting men (at the height of the recession, the unemployment rate for men was 2 percent above that for women), more men left the workplace and took on traditionally female roles in the home. Although the job market is improving, many of these men have continued to have responsibility for shopping, child care and household activities–and many of them are embracing the change wholeheartedly.

So how does the rise of the mansumer affect your small business’s marketing approach? Here’s what you need to know about this new market:

Men are taking on new roles:

  • 40 percent of men are now the primary grocery shopper in the household
  • 44 percent of men say they equally share in housecleaning
  • 86 percent of men say being a man means doing what’s necessary to keep the household running.

Men shop differently than women do:

  • Men see shopping as a practical activity to solve a problem or meet a need.
  • They are not as affected by emotions in making shopping decisions as women are.
  • For male shoppers, their top purchasing priorities are 1) convenience and 2) having all the information they need to make a purchasing decision.

To capture the mansumer market, BPN suggests your business should:

  • Create recognition programs that support the mansumer‘s need for praise for what he’s doing to help the family.
  • Replace the words “Can I help you” in your marketing with “Let’s do this.”
  • Use marketing messages that emphasize simplicity, ease and value.
  • Provide product reviews, information and comparisons within your advertising or make them easily accessible online
  • Include product availability and store information in your online ads

While marketing to the mansumer may pose some challenges, those who get it right will enjoy a whole new market to profit from in the years ahead.

Image by Flickr user Polycart (Creative Commons)


The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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