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Study Reveals How Differently Men and Women Connect with Top Retailers

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Retailers Must Look Beyond Awareness and Traditional Themes to Drive Sales This Holiday Shopping Season, According to New Consumer Data from Motista


Study Reveals How Differently Men and Women Connect with Top Retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Gap, Crate & Barrel, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Walmart and Others

With holiday planning already underway, retailers are looking for different ways to reach consumers and drive sales during the 2011 holiday season. Typically, retailers play to the traditional themes of the season to engage with consumers. However, new data released today by Motista suggests that retailers should look beyond the traditional set of holiday emotions such as family and giving to understand what’s really motivating consumers to spend more. The data also reveals different ways in which men and women interact and connect with retailers, which may be useful as retailers plan their holiday marketing campaigns.

“Although everyone instinctively knows that men and women engage with retailers differently, this data provides valuable insight into some surprising differences in how men and women actually connect with retailers”

According to data collected by Motista as part of its ongoing retail study, overall awareness and familiarity with 10 major retail brands it tracks were high (90 and 71 percent, respectively), but only 18 percent of consumers indicated an emotional connection to their retailers. With only 24 percent of consumers indicating they would make their next relevant purchase with the retailers they frequent today, retailers must establish and leverage emotional connection to retain their customers and increase sales. Key findings in the survey illustrate that building deeper connections with consumers can help drive higher levels of purchase intent, response rates, online engagement and advocacy. According to the study:

  • Connected consumers are better retail consumers: Consumers who feel emotional connections to their retailers are four times more likely to shop those retailers first when relevant needs arise, as compared to consumers who are simply familiar and satisfied with their retailers. Connected customers also respond to direct mail from their retailers twice as often as consumers who are familiar and satisfied.
  • Connected consumers are more engaged through social and mobile channels: Consumers that feel a connection to their retailers are shopping their retailers’ websites via mobile devices ten times more often than consumers who are simply satisfied. And these connected consumers are following their retailers on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, four times more often.
  • Retailers build connection by fitting into the real lives of consumers: While consumers want to be inspired, they’re also looking to retailers to help make their lives simpler. For example, top connections resonating with retail consumers include: the retailer simplifies my life; the retailer helps me live my life the way I want to live it; and by shopping at the retailer, I get a sense of accomplishment.
  • Connected consumers will recommend retailers to friends and family: When consumers feel a connection with their retail brand, they are 50 percent more likely to advocate for the brand and recommend the retailer to others.

For an info graphic of these findings, visit:

“The findings of our most recent study will help retailers as they plan for the 2011 holiday season,” said Alan Zorfas, co-founder and CMO of Motista. “But the long-term takeaway for retailers is the importance of establishing more relevant connections with their customers. What’s really motivating them beyond expected themes? We see connection driving higher levels of purchasing and advocacy across a multitude of industries, and the brands that act on this data are able to execute successful marketing campaigns that motivate their target audiences more effectively.”

Gender and Retail

Motista also segmented the data to look more closely at how men and women interact with retail brands, and the data reveals that genders connect and experience retailers in different ways. Consider the following:

  • Men take retail more personally: Men are 50 percent more likely to feel that their preferred retailer makes them a more valuable person. Appearing to seek to enhance their identities and sense of self through the retailers they choose, men are also 53 percent more likely to feel that people will see them differently because they shop at a particular retailer and 30 percent more likely to feel that their retailer personalizes its relationship with them.
  • Women seek fun and style: Women, on the other hand, establish connections with retailers around the perception that the retailers are fun and stylish. Women are 18 percent more likely to connect with retailers they consider to be fun, and 18 percent more likely to connect with their retailer if they believe the retailer is stylish.
  • Men connect via emerging online touch points: While men and women both follow retail brands on social media networks at approximately the same rate, 10 percent, men are more likely to engage with retailers through emerging online touch points. Men are twice as likely as women to engage in a live chat through a retailer’s website, and twice as likely as women to make purchase through mobile devices.

“Although everyone instinctively knows that men and women engage with retailers differently, this data provides valuable insight into some surprising differences in how men and women actually connect with retailers,” said Zorfas. “Knowing what emotions drive connection for both genders and what channels they prefer when shopping can provide critical insights for campaign planning. As retailers are gearing up for the 2011 holiday season, they should consider the connections that motivate each gender to shop with them to help drive their marketing efforts and end the year on a high note.”

Motista Study: Retailers

Motista continuously surveys a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers in order to capture personal “connection” to the retail brands they purchase. Results from the web-based survey inform retailers of the connections motivating consumers to shop and recommend their brand to others. The study includes consumers of the top retail brands, including Aeropostale, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel, Gap, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Pottery Barn and Walmart. Data for this analysis was fielded during the second quarter of 2011 with a sample size of 4,200 (margin of error +/- 2 percent at a 95 percent confidence level).

About Motista

Started by marketers for marketers, Motista empowers Fortune 1000 consumer brands with on-demand connection intelligence about what motivates their customers and prospects to buy, advocate or remain loyal. The Motista Consumer Connection Environment provides marketers instant access to high-quality intelligence that helps them create deeper, more personal connections with consumers and improve business results. Marketers at top financial services, consumer electronics, retail and home products brands use Motista every day to power their marketing campaigns and justify budget decisions. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif. To learn more, visit


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