Given the recent success of e-commerce brands targeting men—from Bonobos to Dollar Shave Club—it’s easy to forget that just a few years ago, few people saw male shoppers as a viable market for e-commerce.
Many traditional retailers—and even those online such as Gilt—have struggled to capture the attention of male shoppers. We saw a huge gap in the marketplace back in 2012 when we started Touch of Modern. At that time, not one company had taken into account the specific attitudes and preferences that drive male shopping behavior, and if we designed an online platform that was tailored to those tendencies, we’d prove the “Men Don’t Shop” myth wrong.
Today, with more than 7 million registered users and having recently surpassed our one-millionth order, it’s clear our intuition paid off. We believe our success can be attributed to several key insights we had in the very beginning about what drives men to shop and the products they care most about, which informed how we started Touch of Modern. Here are three of them...
Insight #1: Men are overwhelmed by the traditional shopping experience.
Men don’t hate shopping, but the typical retail experience was not built for them. Retail stores were designed for how women shop, as they have traditionally been the person in the home that control spending. Thus, we looked into how we could offer a different shopping experience to men online that was tailored to how they like to shop. We focus on offering a curated selection of products that have a unique backstory, make a statement about the owner with their unique design, or are otherwise one-of-a-kind.
Insight #2: Men are motived by getting great value in the money they spend verse “scoring a “deal.”
Unlike female shoppers who are often more inspired by the hunt for deals and enjoyment of scouring multiple sites, men care about the intrinsic value in a product. That’s not to say that men don’t care about price or what they pay for an item. Actually, the opposite is true. Men need to be assured that the products they buy are the best value for the money, and that they have not been ripped off. That’s why Touch of Mobile guarantees buyers the lowest price on the Internet for any item and emphasizes a membership-only discount.
Insight #3: Men prefer shopping via mobile devices.
Today, Touch of Modern is a mobile-first company. Given men’s impatience with traditional retail stores and the ubiquity of WiFi-enabled mobile devices, we believed early on that men would be drawn to a strong mobile commerce experience.
According to a 2015 Business Insider Intelligence Report, this shouldn’t be surprising. The report found that men are more likely than women to make purchases on mobile devices, with 22 percent of men saying they bought something on their smartphone last year, compared with 18 percent of women. To enhance the mobile shopping experience for our customers, we designed an app for iOS and Android that is seamlessly integrated with our web offering.
In the end, the biggest lesson for other retailers I can share is to take a hard look at the patterns and motivations of your target customers and develop a shopping experience tailored to how like to shop and are likely to interact with the products you offer.
Photo by stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Jerry Hum is Chief Executive Officer of Touch of Modern.