Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a survey offers surprising insights into the shopping habits of your prime customers for that big day — men.

Retailers who still believe in the stereotype that “real men don’t shop” had better think again, reports the study’s author, WSL Strategic Retail, a retail-shopping consultancy based in New York City. Not only do men shop, they take pride in being smart shoppers.

In fact, 63 percent of men surveyed say they actively look for sales in store, and 53 percent admit to regularly using coupons, WSL reports in its “How America Shops: Men & Shopping” report.

 “There are a number of assumptions associated with the way men shop, and many of them are not true,” expresses Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL. “Men are consistently more optimistic about their finances than women, which makes them more inclined to spend than their female counterparts, even in a shaky economy.

“What’s different about today’s man is that he is more engaged and shopping smarter than retailers may be giving him credit for,” Wendy continues.

Candace Corlett, WSL president, remarks, “Younger men are driving this evolution in shopping behavior. The Gen X and millennial men grew up with significantly more places to shop and tools to choose from, and they are part of a culture that shares shopping responsibilities with their working wives.

“With these groups now representing more than half of the male population, brands and retailers need to make sure they know how these men shop.”

For example, the study notes that millennial men are the most tech-savvy shoppers, with 67 percent using their mobile phones to shop versus 52 percent of Gen Xers and 29 percent of baby boomers.

The study also found that:

1. Men look for sales.
Younger shoppers are most savvy in searching for online discounts (50 percent of millennials and 40 percent of Gen X’ers versus only 25 percent of baby boomers) while at least half of men in all age groups regularly use coupons to help reduce costs (57 percent of millennials, 54 percent of Gen X’ers and 50 percent of boomers).

2. Men ask for help.
More men than women will look for help from a sales associate in just about every category, including:
• home products – 25 percent (versus 18 percent women)
• baby products – 25 percent (versus 12 percent women)
• beauty products – 14 percent (versus 9 percent women).

3. Men want the benefits of membership.
Despite the belief that men won’t bother with rewards programs, 79 percent belong to a frequent-shopper program, almost as many as women (89 percent), and 73 percent of the men surveyed say they receive email alerts for shopping (versus 82 percent of women).

4. Men rely on product reviews.
The study found that 68 percent of men feel they are better informed after reading online product reviews, with 58 percent saying they are ready to make a purchase after reading reviews, which is almost as high as women.

The “How America Shops Men & Shopping 2013” study was conducted as a nationwide online survey of 740 men and 780 women shoppers.