Conventional wisdom that men are the more gadget-happy gender has been soundly debunked thanks to a report from marketing intelligence firm Parks Associates released on Monday. HSN, which commissioned the study, announced the results at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Parks Associates reported women are more likely than men to purchase tablets, laptops and smartphones, three of the top four consumer electronics categories. The Dallas, TX-based firm surveyed approximately 2,000 adults in late 2011 about their upcoming consumer technology buying plans. They asked men and women which products they intend to purchase prior to January 1, 2012.
Women expressed more interest in tablets (18%), laptops (20%) and smartphones (20%). Only 15% of men planned to buy a tablet, while 14% sought a laptop and 17% intended to buy a smartphone. The only category in which men surpassed female interest was flat screen LCDs, with men (19%) favoring the TVs over women (17%).
Mashable’s Samantha Murphy quotes Jill Braff, executive VP of digital commerce for HSN as saying, “The tech industry has long been dominated by men — even at CES — but women are really the powerhouse in the household driving purchase decision.”
The Parks Associates study also found that once a woman owns a product, she’s likely to use and engage with it more than men — women tend to spend more time doing digital media activities such as watching full-length movies online, downloading music and uploading pictures and videos to the Internet.
According to the study, women bought an average of 4.7 consumer electronics products in 2010, compared to an average of 4.2 products for men. Meanwhile, 88% of women purchased a tech-related item in 2010 versus 83% of men.
“Women are highly engaged with the latest and greatest gadgets and technology,” HSN’s Braff told Mashable. “Women love to communicate and interact with others and online entertainment is becoming an extension of that.”
The results shouldn’t be surprising for several reasons. First, it’s a well-publicized fact that women make 85 percent of purchasing decisions in American households. Secondly, the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported women are heavier users of social media, which leads to more demand for smartphones, tablets and laptops. The 2011 Pew report found that 69% of women use social media compared to 60% of men. Nearly half of women surveyed said they visit social networking sites daily (48%) compared to just 38% of male Internet users.