In most Canadian shopping circles, women rule. They’re a huge target market as the person in the household who does most of the shopping, both for themselves and their families. Internet shopping is a bit different though, especially when it comes to holiday shopping online. For example, an Ipsos holiday shopping survey found Canadian men spend an average of $1080 online, by comparison to $725 spent online by Canadian women.
15 Ways to Make Men Merry as they Holiday Shop Online
We did some “street interviewing” to find out what guys find most helpful when shopping online. If you were to combine a frightened rabbit and a lost puppy with a “deer in the headlights” look, that’s what we saw in the eyes of most men when they were asked about holiday shopping. Following are 15 suggestions they have for improving their online shopping experience.
- One stop shopping – If a guy can go to a store website and finish all their shopping, they’re happy campers. Offer variety…but not so much that it’s overwhelming.
- Gift guides – One gentleman said he took his Sears Wish Book shopping method online. He relied heavily on the pages in the front that had gifts organized by cost, especially for stocking stuffers. Organizing online gift guides by price, recipient group (women, kids, etc.), interests, best sellers, and even purpose (such as stocking stuffers) are all helpful to male shoppers.
- Sales on popular gift items – Flyers are another tool guys use for efficient shopping. Online sales are similarly organized and have featured products in numbers most guys find more manageable. Rather than having a simple link or menu button for “Specials”, consider featuring sales with a special graphic strategically placed on every page of your site. Also, prominently feature price-matching policies and coupons.
- Gift Cards – The answer to a shopping guy’s prayer are gift cards. They still need to make it look like a special gift though, so they do make an effort to stop by stores favoured by the recipient. They may buy a $25 gift card for a game store and another for a beauty product site, etc. Rather than simply offering gift cards as an option, write sales copy that presents them as more than an easy solution. Emailed gift certificates are especially popular with last minute shoppers, a habit that many guys are infamous for.
- Bundle Products – An easy way to increase sales and serve the frantic man is to bundle products. You can combine products into a gift basket type of gift or gather up 10 stocking stuffers, and so on.
- Inside information – Holiday shopping guidance is something a lot of guys gobble up before they buy. Run feature articles and blog posts focusing on each person a guy may be shopping for, such as Mom, the wife, or children. Product reviews, customer testimonials, and feature comparison charts all beckon to the internet-shopping male. Creating content to use as guest posts on websites popular with men brings all kinds of other benefits besides catching a guy’s eye. Helpful content not only increases conversions on a retail website, it’s also favoured by search engines. For more information, see our article How to Use Content Marketing to Skyrocket Holiday Sales.
- Organization – Most people are easily frustrated by a disorganized website and guys are no exception. They want a straight-forward menu of categories, which are broken down further once clicked upon. Most website hosts include amateur-level design tools these days, allowing you to easily make your Canadian website more user friendly.
- Alternate Sales and Marketing Channels – Consider selling products to bargain-hunting Canadian men via online auctions like eBay or merchant marketplaces like Amazon. Check out Online Marketplaces for Canadian Sellers for more information.
- We are Canadian – Men and women alike are becoming more aware of the benefits of shopping within Canada or even more local, and that’s especially true when the Canadian dollar is so low. Make it clear that you are located in Canada and clearly label products made in Canada. Encourage shoppers to shop Canadian and buy local.
- Customize Affiliate Marketing and Advertising – Affiliate marketers and bloggers can feature gifts, sales and coupons from their favourite merchants. If your business doesn’t have an affiliate program, Share-A-Sale is a popular network with Canadian retailers.
- Guarantees and Returns – Offer reassurance and flexibility with a guarantee or return policy. Offer in-store returns if possible.
- Upgraded shipping options – Again, men are notorious for last minute shopping and they’d rather do it online than brave the crowds offline. Be sure to feature the fact that you offer fast shipping options so it’s clear at a glance that your website is where a guy needs to be. Consider including an “order by _____ to receive before December 25th” notation.
- Gift wrapping – A task cited as “most hated” by plenty of men, gift wrapping options like those offered by Amazon are very popular.
- Lurk around social media – I see many men desperately seeking help on social media, be it gift suggestions or the inability to find a specific item. Use social media tools, such as Canada’s HootSuite, to listen in on cries for help on social media. For example, guys often post specific items they’re looking for on Twitter or Facebook. You can ride in on your virtual white horse to save them, by replying that you carry the item or by offering a suitable alternative. Powerful tools like Wishpond (Canadian company) make it super easy to have social contests and offer coupons via social media. They have both free and paid options.
- Make it easy to find you – The vast majority of men won’t go much further than the first page of search results if at all possible. Now is the time to consider search, social and mobile advertising. Don’t forget to target men in your ad’s, such as headlines featuring your gift guides or fast shipping.
Getting into a guy’s head while he’s shopping online is well worth the effort, especially when you consider that it will also improve the eCommerce experience on your website for all visitors (male or female). This insight will also be invaluable for search engine optimization (SEO).
It’s this type of creative thinking that gives you a competitive advantage and can result in 2015 being your most lucrative holiday season ever.
What are your plans to bring in the boys this holiday season? Please share your strategy or questions in the comments below.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Canadian Holiday Shopping Data: Who, What, Where, Why and How
10 Hot Product Niches to Sell or Drop Ship Online in Canada
Canadian Retailers: Low Loonie Can Lure American Online Shoppers
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