Digital Consumer

Retailers – Daypart is the path to the purchase

David Baker, COO- Cordial

Digging deeper into retail patterns and the impact of the transient mobile consumer, I’ve begun to change my thinking about gender-based control of household spending.
For many years, I believed that females were the gateway to brand loyalty, influencing not only Gen-X but Baby Boomers and their Millennial friends. Mobile trends only reinforced my beliefs. Females have control at all points of purchase, at home, on the run, have access to more information than they ever have and payment options were endless.
What I didn’t expect was what’s happening with men and the mass adoption of tablets. Picture this: Everyone has a mobile, but now the devices are smarter, bigger and more fun, and are replacing the PC at home. Tablets = increased browse and shopping behavior. According to Shopgate Mobile Commerce Index, when it comes to mobile average order value, tablets beat smartphones, Apple tops Android, and males spend more than females. The values of online retail directly lines up with why males buy online:

  • Access to better prices
  • Easier product comparison
  • Discreet purchases
  • More variety
  • Less expensive to shop
  • Lack of crowds thereof

While retail spending for males is still only a percentage of female’s total spend, still online retailers had better pay a lot more attention to this gender and the mobile device patterns. As marketers try to optimize holidays, special events and the daypart patterns of tablets and mobile consumption of email, they are also trying to optimize content at the point of engagement. All in all, it just got a lot harder. Do you send in the morning, as you normally do? Do you send and then optimize send time and let behaviors dictate patterns? Do you send and deliver content on demand, so regardless of device or time, your offer/content is on-point?

First, we have to ensure we get it into consumers’ primary inbox. Second, we have to try to get it there when it’s not stacked under 20 other promotions. We have to consider the effects of mobile triage, vs tablet browsing behavior. We have to worry about content, to minimize the production complexity involved in personalizing the right product offerings to the right audience. Now you need to separate gender on top of that? For some retailers, this is quite a challenge to know what to do first, last and what to repeat.

My belief is that daypart patterns will dictate purchase patterns, as they always have. Mobile and geo location will help with Mobile POS challenges, but don’t translate to online commerce and a reach challenge.
Here are a few quick tips:

  • Target males at night when they are shopping (to optimize online retail). Males tend to have shorter attention spans, so look for evenings for more mindshare outside of impulse purchases.
  • Millennial males spend less time watching TV and more listening to music and are far more social, thus sharable content is the path to their interest and connections.
  • Target women in the morning (for browsing and share-worthy content), but do it after 9 and assume they are using their smartphones.
  • Email is a conditioned behavior, and you should look closely at device and day part patterns and begin to think about an all day send pattern that optimizes to their time and device, vs. batch when convenient to you (the marketer).

While tablets are still an “older” consumer trend in terms of shopping on tablets, this world is a cross device universe and retailers need to focus not just when and how they click Add to Cart, they need to think about what led up to that purchase and support timing and cross device experiences that support this. Conversion rates will tell the end story.
As Winston Churchill said, “It’s always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see.”

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