Affiliate marketing network Rakuten LinkShare says British male shoppers are shunning the high street in favour of online buying – with many even downloading dedicated shopping apps.
Rakuten LinkShare surveyed 1,000 British male consumers on their fashion style and shopping habits. The data was collected by Redshift Research in March this year and today’s results reveal that fashion accounts for around 83% of young men’s online spend.
With both fashion and the luxury market pinpointed as key area of online growth at Rakuten LinkShare's Symposium yesterday, the results from the company's latest survey also seem to correlate.
A total of 85% of those surveyed said they preferred to shop online and 61% of men said they would be disappointed if a luxury brand did not have an online offering.
The survey, which serves to highlight the importance of mobile and digital channels, also found that a quarter of 26-35 year old men spend at least £900 per year on clothing online and one in two men aged 18-35 have a shopping app installed on their phone.
Cash to Splash
The study found that more than three quarters of men said they are tempted to buy fashion online due to a free delivery offer or voucher code discount (78%).
Managing director of Rakuten LinkShare, Mark Haviland, said: “Men’s fashion online is big business and brands shouldn’t underestimate the power of the digital channel to influence this market.
“Men have cash to splash online and their smartphones and apps are an essential part of this retail journey. By adapting to an omnichannel strategy, fashion brands have a far greater chance to make an impact and drive sales with this key audience.”
Findings also reveal this digitally savvy generation of male shoppers use mobile apps to support their purchase decisions, with more than half having dedicated shopping apps installed on their handsets.
Cashback apps were most popular, with more than a quarter of men under the age of 45 using one. A total of 20% of men, aged 18-35 have a barcode scanner app, supporting the growing trend for showrooming, whereby shoppers research in-store and make a final purchase online.
Nearly a fifth of men in this age bracket also use dedicated shopping apps from specific brands (16%) and nearly one in five 26-35 year olds use QR code apps (19%).
Voucher Codes & Free Delivery
The survey found that it was not just apps influencing purchases as voucher codes offering discounts were also hugely popular with young male shoppers. More than half said vouchers are an incentive to buy.
Free delivery was also a huge driver, with nearly a quarter of shoppers saying that paying for postage and packaging is their biggest bugbear. A total of 42% of young men state that they would be encouraged to buy if targeted with an ad that gave free delivery or a discount.
Given more than a third of 18-25 year olds browse regularly online, and said they would be tempted to buy if presented with a timely offer, Rakuten LinkShare said the research proves there is a huge opportunity for brands to incentivise purchases with this younger male audience.
That Parcel for me?
Are men really reading the sport on their smartphones or is this actually a cover-up for their brogue browsing and online fashion frenzy buying and are we no longer the only ones storing (hiding) internet shopping parcels at the bottom of the wardrobe?
Even MD Haviland said he was shocked at the findings. “I was genuinely surprised by the amount of men who have downloaded shopping apps on their phones. I know I have them – but that's my job.”
A cover-up by Haviland? Or is he, as the survey suggests, another man with a penchant for online shopping?
Haviland said the company will keep creating and compiling relevant and interesting surveys in relation to the performance marketing sector if it is what people want.
This June, Rakuten LinkShare will reveal the eagerly anticipated results from a huge survey it commenced in December, analysing buying patterns, online shopping perceptions and international trends between eight countries. Results will be announced at the New York Symposium.