Gender vs Age – What Different Consumer Groups REALLY Want from Local Business Websites

Gender vs Age – What Different Consumer Groups REALLY Want from Local Business Websites
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Key 'Takeaways' From This Post
  • Younger Consumers (18-34) expect a local business to have a website & are more likely to contact them if they do
  • Older Consumers (55+) give local businesses with a 'smart' website more credibility
  • Male Consumers believe that a good looking website is more important than female consumers
  • A good looking website with clear photos is more appealing to younger consumers than older consumers
  • Website videos & social media signals are almost irrelevant to consumers 55+

We recently published the results of an annual survey which explores what consumers want from local business websites. The results were taken from a panel of 800 consumers, all based in the United States, and of mixed gender & age.

These general findings give us a clearer view of how consumers react to local business websites, and the information they expect, want & don’t want to be included on them.

Moreover, it showed us which factors are most likely to influence consumers into using a local business, and which factors are most likely to deter them.


How do consumers of different age & gender respond to local business websites?

Having published the initial findings we now want to examine the Age & Gender differences in responses. We hope that this will help certain businesses who target specific demographics with their content & website strategy.

From the 800 respondents, the age breakdown was as follows:

  • 18-34 – 44%
  • 35-54 – 34%
  • 55+ – 22%
The gender breakdown was:
  • Female – 56%
  • Male – 44%

Consumer attitudes towards local business websites

Age of Consumers

Consumer attitudes towards local business websites

Analysis:

The results show some interesting differences in the expectations & opinions of consumers of different ages –

Younger Consumers (18-34) expect a business to have a website & are more likely to contact them if they do. If a business does not have a website, or their website is ‘ugly’, then they are much less likely to use that business.

 

 

 

 

Mid-life Consumers (35-54) are less demanding of a business to have a website, but are still more likely to contact them if they do. A lower percentage believe that a smart website gives a business more credibility, and they are the least likely to be put-off by an ugly website.

Older Consumers (55+) are much less concerned about whether a business has a website, or if that website looks good. They are less likely to judge a business based on its website (or lack of one) but they do think a smart website gives a local business credibility.

Male vs Female Consumers

Consumer attitudes towards local business websites

Analysis:

The differences are less pronounced when we compare male vs female consumers –

Female Consumers are more likely to contact a local business with a website, and believe that website gives the business more credibility. Females are more expectant about a business having a website than males, but relatively few are put-off by an ugly website.

 

 

 

 

Male Consumers are more likely to contact a local business if it has a website, and give equal credibility to those businesses that do (albeit at a lower rate than females). Male consumers are less insistent about a business having a website than female consumers, however more male consumers are put-off by an ugly website.


Key information on a local business website

Age of Consumers

Most important information

Key information on a local business website

Less important information

Key information on a local business website

Analysis:

It’s clear that across all age groups, consumers are looking for the same information –

  1. product/service list
  2. price list
  3. opening hours
  4. phone number
  5. physical address

The key questions are ‘When are you open?’, ‘what do you sell?’, ‘how much is it?’ and ‘how can i get in contact?’.

This is good for business owners as it makes it simple to satisfy all age groups easily. But there are some differences –

Younger Consumers (18-34) consider a good looking website to be of more importance than other consumers. A mobile optimized is also a higher priority for this age group.

Mid-life Consumers (35-54) have similar priorities to younger consumers, but are more focused on getting key information about a business.

Older Consumers (55+) are highly focused on getting core information from a site. In particular they are most insistent about getting product lists being displayed, a phone number & physical address. Fast Website Speed is also more important to them.

Male vs Female Consumers

Most important information

Key information on a local business website

Less important information

Key information on a local business website

Analysis:

Both male & female consumers consider lists of products, opening hours, phone number & price lists to be the most important information on a local business website.

But there are some subtle differences –

Male Consumers consider a good looking website to be more important than females. Supplementary website info such as images, accreditations & an updated blog etc. are more important to male consumers than females.

Female Consumers consider lists of products & opening hours to be of more importance than male consumers, whilst some of the supplementary (or bonus) info such as images, an updated blog and a good looking website are of less importance.


Website factors which make consumers WANT to use a local business

Age of Consumers

Website factors which make consumers WANT to use a local business

Analysis:

Again it’s practical data that is most persuasive to all age groups, so it’s critical that business provide this front & centre on their websites. The main age-based differences are outlined below –

Younger Consumers (18-34) are still persuaded by the same core features, but they find these less persuasive than older consumers. However, a good looking website with clear photos is more enticing to this age group than any other.

Mid-life Consumers (35-54) are more influenced by details about a business and business proximity than younger consumers – but not as much as older consumers.

Older Consumers (55+) are the most influenced by business details, business proximity & clear address / contact details. Having website videos & social media is almost irrelevant to this age group.

Male vs Female Consumers

Key information on a local business website

Analysis:

Once again, details about a business, how close that business is (proximity) and having clear address / contact details are key to all consumers. The key differences between the genders is –

Female Consumers are far more influenced by how far a local business is to them (i.e. their proximity). Additionally, displaying clear address / contact details is also more important. They also put more trust/belief in online reviews which corroborates the findings of our Local Consumer Review Survey.

Male Consumers are not as influenced by business proximity or address / contact details as females. Equally, testimonials are less enticing, but a freephone number or fast website speed can be more influential.


Common problems on local business websites

Age of Consumers

Common problems on local business websites

Analysis:

Poor quality content, not displaying a phone number & not displaying prices are the main obstacles which stop all consumers from wanting to use a local business. However, what are the major differences in age? –

Younger Consumers (18-34) are not as deterred by how far away a business is as older consumers, but a slow or buggy website can be more off-putting. Equally, younger consumers are less likely to want to use a business if their website is not mobile friendly.

Mid-life aged Consumers (35-54) will be less likely put-off these factors than older consumers, but they will ultimately be more harsh on a website than younger consumers if it does not match their requirements.

Older Consumers (55+) are the most deterred by poor quality content. It’s the no.1 off-putting feature for consumers aged 55+ who are perhaps more diligent about misspellings etc. It’s vital that businesses targeting these consumers get this right.

Male vs Female Consumers

Common problems on local business websites

Analysis:

Once again, not displaying a phone number or product prices is the most off-putting feature for both genders, however there are other differences –

Female consumers consider poor quality content to be the no.1 feature that stops them from wanting to use a local business, and to a much larger extent than males.

 

 

 

 

Male consumers are most put off from using a local business if the website does not display a phone number or product prices. Males are also more discouraged if a website does not show map / address details. Poor quality content is surprisingly not as off-putting to male consumers.


How consumers prefer to contact a local business

Age of Consumers

 How consumers prefer to contact a local business

Analysis:

From the original survey, the preferred method for contacting a local business is via telephone, and this remains the case for consumers of all ages & gender –

Younger Consumers (18-34) are more in favour of sending an email than older consumers & the most likely age group to use social media to contact a business. They are also least likely to visit a local business in person – they prefer virtual interactions!

Mid-life Consumers (35-54) also favour telephone & email contact and are the most likely age group to use any ‘request a call back feature’.

Older Consumers (55+) do favour telephone contact but are also the age group most in favour of visiting the store / premises. In fact older consumers are more likely to visit a business than email them. They also have no interest in contacting a local business via social media.

 

 

 

Male vs Female Consumers

 How consumers prefer to contact a local business

Analysis:

Once again, telephone contact remains the most popular choice for both male and female consumers –

Female Consumers favor telephone contact over male consumers but are more inclined to email or contact forms than male consumers.

Male Consumers still favor the telephone but are more in favour of visiting the store / premises than sending an email. They are also favor a ‘request a call back’ feature to females.

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4 thoughts on “Gender vs Age – What Different Consumer Groups REALLY Want from Local Business Websites”

  1. What is it mean by “clear and smart”? Does it mean userability? Layout? Content? All of the above?

    Overall, very interesting read. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jackie, yes it’s a visual / user friendly factor – so ‘clear’ referring to the fact that users can find what they want & ‘smart’ referring to a visually appealing website (layout, images, etc.). Thanks for the comment.

    1. Thanks Andy – It looks like as long as a local businesses gets the key info on there (presented in a clear way), then they might get a ‘pass’ on the visuals to some extent…!

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