Holiday Shopping: Men Vs. Women

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Posted Dec 15, 2014
Astrid Phillips Mayer

Many of us are familiar with author John Gray’s idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, and there’s no denying that this still seems to hold true when we look at this year’s emerging holiday shopping data.

Man and woman Christmas shopping

Men were likelier than women to disapprove of stores being open on Thanksgiving (59 percent versus 41 percent), yet more men admitted to starting their holiday shopping on Thanksgiving anyway (56 percent of men versus 44 percent of women). Hypocritical, yes, but still very practical in terms of snagging discounts; the thrill of the hunt, while beating out the rest of the pack, may also be a significant factor for male shoppers.

Men’s inner turmoil didn’t end at Thanksgiving holiday shopping, either. More women than men strongly agree that they look forward to holiday shopping (69 percent versus 31 percent), and more women than men agree completely that it’s important to find the perfect gift (70 percent versus 30 percent), but men are still likelier than women to spend a lot more on gifts this year (55 percent versus 45 percent). Men may not care for holiday shopping, but when they do it, they're stepping up their spending from last year. Women, on the other hand, seem to be taking a more modest and considered approach, and perhaps not buying as many of the big-ticket items that men are considering.

Top consumer electronics gifts on our shopping lists

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 seemed positioned more for the female market a few years ago, and have since nearly closed the gender gap; these two products each have a gender split this year that’s close to even.

What women are purchasing as gifts

FitBit Flex Activity + Sleep Wristband // 63.0% female
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX // 52.3% female
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 // 51.5% female
What men are purchasing as gifts
Dell Inspiron Laptop // 73.2% male
Pebble Smart Watch // 73.0% male
Motorola Moto 360 Smart Watch // 71.4% male

(Each product percent indicates the percentage that is female or male among those who selected that product as their top choice.)

Top gift retailer choices

Men have not yet embraced local shops and Etsy to the degree that women have, instead opting for consumer electronics and sporting goods at national chains.

Women are shopping for gifts at:

TJ Maxx/Marshall’s // 67.3% female
Other (including local shops, Etsy) // 65.2% female
Macy’s // 60.3% female

Men are shopping for gifts at:

Best Buy // 61.3% male
Dick’s Sporting Goods // 60.3% male
Costco // 59.2% male

(Each store percent indicates the percentage that is male or female among those who selected that store as their top choice.)

Regardless of whether you’re from Venus or Mars -- or from any other planet, for that matter -- we at AYTM wish you a wonderful holiday!

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below; be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options. Results for 1,000 respondents were collected November 25-28 via AYTM’s online survey panel, and balanced by income and gender.

Featured photo credit: "Window Shopping for Christmas" by Adam Haranghy, used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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