Do you think designs for men and women should differ? If so, what psychological features of male shoppers are better to consider before starting any e-commerce project targeted on male audience? Would you like to get accurate, direct guidelines as to masculine design based on deep research and analyses? Just read on and get to know how to make your male e-commerce project profitable and successful. We tried to take into account every detail of male shoppers’ behavior and preference. Hoping our secrets and suggestions will turn out to be useful for your projects.

Going to create an e-commerce store targeted on male audience? Dreaming to get inside thick men’s wallets? We should warn you that it won’t be too easy, as first of all, you need to get inside their heads and worm out what affects male customers’ shopping behavior. As you know, men and women are really different not only physiologically, but psychologically as well. And marketing tricks attracting females will probably scare away males. Of course, there are some universal e-commerce rules that work for both sexes, but today we will focus particularly on male-oriented projects.

If you take the trouble and count the number of male and female shoppers entering a common street store, most likely the quantity of women will significantly outbid the one of men. So, what conclusion can we arrive at? It turns out that having the right key to male shopping psychology you’ll get access to the vast untapped product market. And we are going to help you squeeze through the narrow entrance of obstacles right into your personal golden mine.

Of course, you know that e-commerce is still in a high growth stage now and this fact is your huge benefit available initially from the start.

In order to simplify you the task of creation a man-oriented store, it’s worth to mention that male-shoppers fall under three main categories according to their in-store behavior:

  1. The first category strives to grab the item they need, buy it and leave the store as quickly as possible.
  2. The second category goes to the shop just to push the cart or carry the bags. They wait and whine until their wives or girlfriends do the shopping.
  3. The third category fears that their masculinity is in danger because they are engaged in tasks associated with women. Such kind of men tries to avoid stores where male and female stuff is sold together.

Maybe now it will sound difficult, but to become a successful online merchant you should please all the above mentioned categories of male shoppers. Satisfying the customer is the main goal and secret of profitable e-commerce. Yes, you should shape your products and services to the unique needs of each and every client as your business survival depends on that.

How to reach this overall utopia? Good news: actually, it’s simpler than it seems… First of all just analyze market segments your male customers may be interested in and cater to one or several product niches. Here are a few possible examples: computers, digital hardware, petrol, cars, bikes and spares for both, shaving things, mobile phones, watches, shirts, suits and so on.

Now, when we know what to sell, let’s skip to the methods of doing that.

According to the comparative research men prefer web designs created by male developers. What does this fact give us?  This:

The web design guides for male-oriented sites

  1. Men are seduced by red price tags. When they see prices on red labels, they believe that here they get greater price savings than in stores where prices are printed on black or another color tags, for instance. Besides, red tags influence positive purchase decisions.
  2. Men need additional motivation to deeply process information. Show them that the content is important and they will pay it much more attention.
  3. The style of the store shouldn’t be super happy and festive as it may not coincide with buyer’s mood. It’s better to make it positive, but suitable for any customer’s spirit. This is especially actual during holidays, when average buyers feel stressed, anxious and even depressed due to financial concerns. Extraordinary joyous decorations can serve the retailer a bad service.
  1. As a rule men don’t like to spend much time at store (if it’s not a car spares or modern gadget stores, of course), so your e-commerce website should be user-friendly enough to provide swift navigation and checkout process.
  2. According to research and observations by marketers and urban anthropologists, men are incapable of rapid perceiving and processing of complicated information. That’s why, if you want to make your male customers buy more products at a time, place them in pairs (pants and shirts of colors that perfectly match, for example), otherwise, your client will purchase just one thing and abandon the store.
  3. It doesn’t matter where on the web page you will place men’s accessories like socks and other utilitarian goods (like paper towels or diapers). Men buy such sorts of items impulsively, which do not require extensive deliberation, so they can be grabbed at the last moment.
  4. Online stores offering product categories users are deeply involved to should provide multiple quality item photos and detailed descriptions as customers are willing to spend time and view them more thoroughly.
  5. As to the hedonic items, you can present them with all chic you consider appropriate for the brand, because such goods have strong emotional pull and tend to appeal to the buyer’s senses. They should look aesthetically pleasing as are viewed more as a luxury and a treat than a necessity. Naturally, customers spend more time choosing them and invest more money into the product they like.
  6. Men are hunters by their nature and even now, when intelligence is much more important than strong, shaped muscles, they behave like potential winners. In case of online shopping, a successful, advantageous bargain is a form of achievement, demonstration of status. Try to make every initiated online customer’s deal successfully completed and they will feel happy.
  7. Men like to use technology. Promote your store online. Searching for the desired product at your store and identifying the best value or the most feature-laden item that fits their needs, men will use technology as a tool for achievement. A smart trick, isn’t it?
  8. Give men the possibility to beat you in shopping. How? Allow bargaining for the price. This is one of the ways to do this. Another way is encouraging them to wait for the price to come down.
  9. Promote the use of both web sites and street stores. Take care of having a virtual dressing room at your web store if you sell clothes. Adjust strong connections between virtual and real stores. That is, have the items selected online waiting for their owners in street store. Make virtual coupons valid for real in-store purchases.
  10. Use sharp, accurate, straight lines, no rounded corners (although some men still like them) in male-oriented designs.
  11. Formal, technical, expert site lexis with few abbreviations is also preferable for websites developed for male audience.
  12. Reduce the number of typefaces and colors to the absolute minimum as men prefer rigorous, reserved designs. As to fonts, it’s better to avoid the playful ones and stick to simple, formal and clearly legible.
  13. Imparting your website an atmosphere of men’s club will be certainly appreciated by your customers.

Men and colors – uneasy relationship

Now let’s make a small digression from our list and talk about colors considered masculine and loved by men. Frankly speaking, it is impossible to work out iron clad rules about what colors are masculine or feminine or gender-neutral. As you know, each color has tons of tints and shades. For instance, you may be crazy about rich, royal blue and hate pale, sky blue. As you see, the preference for the color blue doesn’t mean that every shade of blue is universally appropriate. However, we managed to lay down form some generalized color rules grounded on various studies.

Men like blue

For justice sake, it should be stated that blue is a favorite color of both men and women of all ages. Nevertheless, men have a much stronger preference for blue than women. Here are some possible reasons for that: it may be the calming effect of the color or it could be the association of some shades of blue with authority figures, intelligence, and stability. Maybe men like to wear blue simply because women find them more attractive in blue uniform or a blue business suit.

Men like green

Green takes second place in men’s color popularity rating. Green is cool, restful; it signifies growth, renewal, health, and environment as well as balance and stability.

Men like black

Men favor black only slightly more than women. A strong preference for such conservative colors may reflect social and cultural norms where men’s attire is traditionally less colorful then women’s.

Sure, we couldn’t ignore the colors men don’t like either. Here are some of them:

Purple is strongly disliked by men. The color stands out as feminine because it is chosen almost exclusively by women as a favorite one. Lavender and turquoise are also in men’s top shit parade; however purple still takes the first place there. You won’t believe your eyes now, but pink maybe considered even insulting for some men. Maybe this happens because the color is very feminine and delicate. Despite everything said above, pink is acceptable as a clothing color for men.

Now we offer you to sort through the color information in order to avoid any mess in your head:

Male top 3 favorite colors are: blue, green, black (2 cool and one neutral).

Male top 3 least favorite colors are: brown, orange, purple (neutral, warm, mixed).

Among favorite colors, preferences for green decrease with age (all genders).

Among least favorite colors (all genders), dislike of brown and purple decreases with age while dislike of orange increases with age.

Web design guides – continued:

  1. Designing for men remember that others’ decisions serve as a guide to forming their own opinions (herd instinct works well). So, it will be extremely useful to provide other customers’ reviews, ratings and testimonials to boost your conversion rates.
  2. Men like to purchase immediately, so show as many products as you can right on the home page as they’ll probably leave your store before the next page loads. Sell to a man quickly, visually, with awesome benefits that provide the ideal solution to their urgent needs. Don’t bother men about future value they are not thinking about at the time of their purchase.
  3. Men are spatial. Gender-based spatial concepts indicate that men won’t give eye capturing designs as much weight as women.
  4. Men are more likely to pick up and scan or click on a link to the next page. The reason is that men are more willing to gamble a bit in the hopes of a greater reward.
  5. For time out of mind marketing specialists know this simple sooth – sex sells. If men are half-convinced and half-intrigued, they will click through, looking for the payoff. Sexy images appeal to their sense of adventure and exploration in real life and online. So, add a little bit of aesthetical eroticism into your design.
  6. Coming back to spatial concepts – humorous story telling with multiple examples appeals to men’s nature, but they are more interested in the end of the story, than in its details. Both genders want a reward: men tend to pay less attention to rules than to outcomes
  7. As a rule men buy more items all at once to minimize shopping experience. (You can use this peculiarity to your benefit offering a TV set, DVD player, gaming console, satellite antenna and other products that supplement each other’s usability). Besides, when it comes to returning the purchase the guy will get it back immediately or never.
  8. Men love bragging. Give them the reason to make a mountain out of a molehill. In other words, describe your product as remarkable, one-of-a-kind, super feature–rich, make them believe that they buy the item that it’s the best in this world.
  9.  And the last secret. Get personal with men. They love being engaged, singled out, and surprised. Remember their names, towns or hobbies. Exceeding their expectations is part of what makes your product stand out from the others.

Conclusions

We hope everything stated above was useful enough for your future manly e-commerce designs. Let’s sum it up a little:

  1. Men tend towards web pages designed by men;
  2. Men respond better to dark colored designs with straight, horizontal lines across a page;
  3. Men are attracted by 3D look and cool animation effects;
  4. Men prefer color with stronger hue and saturation (bright colors);
  5. Men are generally more tolerant of black, white and gray websites;
  6. One in ten men is color blind.

You can compliment the above stated guides for e-commerce male-oriented designs or just leave your feedback on the information you’ve just read in the comment section.

To make the end of our story really spectacular, we decided to feast your eyes upon some masculine website designs. Please, don’t forget to let us know whether our tastes coincide.

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Soul Land

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Locals Apparel

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Protest

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Vakko

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AB Aeterno Watches

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Reebok

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OC Desk

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Royer

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Tico

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Bo & Play

Creating an ecommerce site for male audience

Author bio: Helga Moreno is a learning junkie, requiring a new dose of fresh information every day. She is always keeping her notepad at hand in order not to miss a single thrilling event happening in cyberspace. She diligently puts down all her thoughts in order to share the most interesting of them with web community in general and TemplateMonster readers in particular. Want to know more about her? Visit her Google+ profile.

Sources: Kissmetrics, DesktopPubBuckingham New University