Gender optimisation: Targeting male shoppers

When it comes to online shopping habits, men are less complicated than women. The majority of ecommerce sites are already geared towards male customers, but there might be a few tricks you’re missing.

Although all men are individuals, the average guy wants to shop quickly, with few distractions and no obstacles between him and his desired product. Men tend to buy more electronics, media and event tickets than women but are becoming increasingly interested in fashion. They tend to shop for ‘need’, and will choose a product that’s ‘good enough’ rather than spending hours hunting for the perfect solution like women do.

So what do men want?


Men don’t necessarily shop for fun. They usually do it to address their needs rather than their wants and prefer to get in and out as quickly as possible so that they can move on to something more interesting. This means they want to find the product they’re after instantly, as well as all the relevant information about delivery charges and times. Fantastic search and navigation functions are a must if you’re aiming to attract male shoppers. As a side note, because men shop for need, shorter delivery times could be more attractive to them.

example of John Lewis’ filters

Good example: John Lewis provides useful, product specific filters to quickly narrow down the range of suitable products.

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At-a-glance data

Filters make it easier for men to find what they’re looking for and work especially well alongside the ability to sort. Once the customer has sorted products based on their priority (e.g. price, or rating), filters allow them to drill down even further (e.g. by brand, colour, size, or material) so that they only see products that fit the bill. Like women, men are influenced by the opinions of others but unlike women, this is usually top-level. Men want to see products with four-star ratings and above, rather than reading through user experiences.

Exaggerated imagery

Research from pre-toddler age shows that men are more interested in objects (products) than subjects (people), so your on-site imagery should reflect that. Interesting and exaggerated perspectives are the most enticing, for example a mountain bike pointed at the camera as if it’s about to leap out of the screen. Use white backgrounds to make products stand out, and use 360° images and 3D visuals to really show off your products.

Rational and fact-driven copy

While women like prose, men like their data to be presented in easy to scan ways, such as bullet points describing the product’s key features in short, snappy sentences. They also like to compare products side by side, so adding this functionality and presenting it in a table format can really help here. Men prefer their descriptions to be rational and fact-driven rather than aspirational.

example of Halfords’ compare functionality

Good example: Halfords allows the user to compare up to 4 products, showing the most important attributes side by side.

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While women are more likely to share your products on social media, men can be enticed to increase your visibility on social media too. If you want to encourage this, your content has to be a bit different. Men are more likely to share interesting news content or funny videos, rather than inspirational blog posts or attractive products.

Mobile optimisation

Whichever gender you’re targeting, it’s always best to have flawless shop functionality across platforms. Because men are currently more likely to use their mobiles to shop, it’s a big consideration for ecommerce sites geared towards men. Think about their on-the-go shopping process, and read our 5 ways to improve your customer’s mobile experience for more advice on this point.

Breaking the trend: Young men (and girlfriends)

Research has shown that younger men shop in a similar way to women. If you’re targeting people under the age of 30 our blog post about female optimisation may be more relevant. It’s also worth noting that women tend to shop for their partners (25% of visitors to menswear webshops are female). So even if your webshop is targeted towards men it should still be attractive to women.


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At Mercurytide we believe in making e-commerce work for everyone, the customer and the business. That’s why we have developed an ecommerce approach to rapidly deliver everything you’d expect from an e-commerce website, but fully bespoke to match all your needs.

If you want to know a bit more about how we can help you optimise your ecommerce site for your target audience, or just chat about how we can help you to increase conversations overall,

please get in touch

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