Females Found to be More Smartphone Savvy than Males

Apr 18, 2019
By: Marissa Camilli

Misinformed stereotypes often tell us that technology is a man’s domain. This rather lazy assumption clearly ignores the work of incredible women in the space. Women like Ada Lovelace who was considered the first computer programmer and a visionary in her field (no mean feat when you considered she died in 1852 at the age of just 36), or Katherine Johnson whose genius helped land the first humans on the moon.

These women continue to inspire an incredible group of highly influential female business leaders in the tech industry. Women like Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube), and Belinda Johnson (Airbnb) are all at the top of their game and should prove; once and for all, that high-tech business is not exclusively a man’s world.

Women Are Still Under-Represented in Technology

OK, we shouldn’t get too excited about women in tech yet because we still have a long way to go. Despite the remarkable achievements of the aforementioned female pioneers, women are still highly under-represented in the tech sector. Statistics suggest that women only represent 16 percent of the global technology workforce.  In the US, the situation is even worse with reports suggesting women are leaving the industry faster than they can be replaced.

This is a real shame because when you look at how people use technology, there are many areas where women dominate the space. This is especially true in the smartphone environment.

Women Spend More Time on Mobile Devices than Men

According to research by the UK data and insight company UKOM, women spend more time accessing online services via mobile devices than men, with more than two-thirds of their time online spent on their smartphone or tablets.

Women spend 39 percent more time engaging with social media channels on their smartphone than men. Huge time differences can also be seen on retail sites and apps (67%), viewing photographs (71%), and health-related services (29%).

Highlighting the way women use their devices, Julie Foley, UKOM’s Director of Insight said: “Women, with their more natural desire to connect with friends and family, as well as their predilection for shopping, play a much bigger role in driving internet use on smartphones. Phone conversations as a method for sharing information and catching up are increasingly being usurped by smartphone apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and the like. Men still use these services on their phones, but just not to the same extent.”

Moving away from, what many would consider, outdated and perhaps patronizing gender-based stereotypes (females like to talk and shop), women also spend more time on the mobile devices doing things you might stereotypically assume were “male” pastimes.  For example, you might be surprised to learn women also spend upwards of 30 percent more time gaming on their smartphones than their male counterparts.

Women and Gaming

Women outnumber men when it comes to gaming on their smartphones with 60 percent of women questioned in a survey stating that they played games on their devices on a daily basis, compared to just 30 percent of male respondents.

In an environment where more than 75 percent of apps are only used once following download and activation, this statistic is incredibly important. If an app is ever going to be profitable, recouping the considerable cost of its development and marketing, it needs to be engaged with frequently. This is true regardless of how it is monetized – via advertising, in-app purchases or even premium downloads which rely on positive reviews and word-of-mouth (social) marketing to make a big enough impact.

Time and Money

According to this report, female consumers are much cheaper to acquire via mobile than men and they are also more likely to make in-app purchases.

The average cost to acquire a female consumer who will complete a purchase on a mobile device is around $56.58, while it costs almost double that to acquire an active male user. Nearly 12 percent of female users will make an in-app purchase compared to 11 percent of men. When that single percentage point equates to millions of downloads and activations – the cash generated from these sales is significant.

It a Lifestyle Thing

You could argue that the smartphone environment suits so many women because it fits in with their lifestyles. It’s a social environment that fits in your back pocket or purse and enables users to engage with it while also juggling careers, family, and the 101 other things that women do. We already excel at multi-tasking; the smartphone just lets us multi-task more.

As the smartphone becomes more prevalent around the world, it also opens up opportunities to women who might not have had access to digital services and the advantages of the online economy before.

Further Reading: BRICS: A Smart Future Built on Affordable Devices

Why is This Important?

When app developers realize that their customer-base is increasingly female – it creates more opportunities for women to work in the industry. When the people who create and market your apps look more like your audience, you are always going to stand a better chance of creating something that really connects with your audience.

Ultimately, people buy from people they like and identify with – so isn’t it about time you started mirroring your most lucrative audience in your organization.

Better Targeting

Digital Turbine can help your app reach its target audience regardless of gender, geography or demographics. Our deep relationships with global device manufacturers and mobile networks ensure your pre-loaded apps target the right people, on the right device, at the right time.

Talk to one of our pre-loading experts today about your next app marketing campaign.

Marissa Camilli
By Marissa Camilli
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