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Only 20% of Indian women hooked to the smartphone spree

Mobile marketers in India are riding high on the mobile wave in India but a closer look at the numbers show that more men are engaged on their smartphone as compared to women. According to research by Nielsen, only 20 per cent of Indian women are active on data-enabled smartphones today.

Furthermore, the behavioural pattern of men and women on smartphones also differs widely. According to insights derived by real-time smartphone usage data from Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights, women using smartphones are equally tech savvy and almost as engaged as men, but both categories do different things on their devices.

There have been several researches highlighting the time spend by an Indian consumer on their hand-held device but Nielsen highlighted another interesting attribute stating that men spend an average of 13 more minutes on their smartphones each day than women.

In terms of their preferences, men on smartphones are more engaged with gaming, shopping, web browsing, reading news, and tending to their banking and financial service needs. But women on the other hand are more engaged with chatting, social networking and streaming audio and video.

The study states that media (audio & video) consumption by women in India is higher than that by men who are smartphone users. Women spend 40 per cent more time on music streaming apps and 50 per cent more time on video streaming apps than their male counterparts. In the mobile video entertainment domain, YouTube continue to rule to roost as the most preferred video-streaming app among both men and women in India.

Besides audio & video, the most popular category among women smartphone users is shopping. Online shopping picked up steam in India on back of flash sales and seasonal discounts which were the highlight of ecommerce industry in 2014. The trend is evident from the fact that in 2014, popularity of shopping apps among men in India was seen at 43 per cent as against 38 per cent among women. While this trend continues, the gap is narrowing with the numbers currently at 55 per cent for men and 52 per cent for women.

Here, the popularity of the shopping apps is calculated on the basis of final transaction made. It was driven on two key factors – the male appetite for technology and they are more often the ones who pay for the purchased items. Electronic was the top trending category online and men formed the lion’s share of buyer in the segment. It’s also possible that even when women make a purchase decision, they ask men to compare costs or complete the transaction.

Nevertheless, in terms of engagement on shopping apps, women walk away with the top spot by registering 119 minutes per month against 103 minutes per month by men. In developed countries like the UK, US, and Korea, women spend twice as much time shopping on smartphones than men.

The online shopping fad on smartphones is largely led by ecommerce players pushing their traffic to the app platform as they seek to become app-only platforms. This shift from website to app is incentivised by attractive offers and deals which are only available on purchases made through the app. Therefore, the spike in ecommerce engagement on smartphones.

In the social networking and chatting space, Women in countries like India, Malaysia, Thailand and Qatar are 30 per cent more engaged on chat apps than men. Indian women specifically, spend almost 1.2 times more time chatting then men on a monthly basis. WhatsApp Messenger was seen guiding the trend in the space.