Cell phones: Who talks more, men or women?

2:06 PM, Feb 14, 2013   |    comments
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Byron Acohido, USA TODAY

SEATTLE -- Men talk longer and faster than women when using their cell phone to buy stuff from retailers, according to results of a study released today by Marchex, a mobile advertising company.

This bit of intel, no doubt, will be pored over by retailers and tech companies hustling to promote so-called mobile commerce, or m-commerce -- the fledging retailing sector that's being hotly pursued by Apple, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google and others.

ABI Research says the m-commerce market could account for 24.4% of overall e-commerce revenues by the end of 2017, extending from a big leap forward in 2011, when the mobile online commerce market doubled in size to $65.6 billion. That growth is being fueled by the rapid adoption of smartphones globally, and by a push from brick-and-mortar retailers to reach mobile device users with sales campaigns and systems, according to ABI.

Marchex aggregated data points from more than 200,000 phone calls placed to U.S. business - the vast majority of which came from mobile phones, and found that men speak 13% longer on the phone and that they're more talkative.

On average, male callers stayed on the phone for 7 minutes 23 seconds and women for just 6 minutes 30 seconds. The study also found that men spoke more and spoke faster than women.

The average male caller spoke 236 words per call at 32 words per minute and the average female spoke 227 words per call at a rate of 24 words per minute. The data also showed that men tend to make more calls at the beginning of the day, whereas females prefer to make more calls after lunch.

"When more purchasing decisions than ever are taking place through mobile channels, knowing what's true and what isn't can profoundly affect how businesses interact with men and women," says Eric Taylor, senior analyst at the Marchex Institute.

"Madison Avenue has long produced ad campaigns to target men and women," Taylor says. "But gender-based assumptions -- such as women spend more time on the phone than men -- must be looked at dead in the eye and proven with data."


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