When we think of shopping, there are certain stereotypes that spring to mind concerning the differences between how men and women shop. Due to the way our brain works, there are great differences in how both genders shop and what habits they have that affect their buying decisions. It is important to consider these differences and realize that different approaches to retail will work differently with both women and men.
Men: Specificity – Women: Exploration
Generally, when men shop, they have a specific purpose in mind and are shopping to buy one thing. They will have pre-planned this item and will have considered all aspects of the shopping trip beforehand – Specificity is key. Women, on the other hand, may have a vague idea of what they want but are more inclined to look for other items too and peruse different shops. The shopping trip is an adventure and a possibility to explore and indulge.
Men: Get the job done quick – Women: Like to shop around
Men like to go straight to the shop where they know the item is, try said item on (they might not even do that!), purchase the item, and go home. The shopping process is extremely functional, serves a purpose, and should be completed as quickly as possible. Women generally do not like to be constrained to one shop, or to the blunt shopping methods of men. They may look at similar items in several different shops before making a purchase.
Men: Objectivity – Women: Subjectivity
When women shop, there may be many different reasons that influence their purchase. Shopping is a personal and emotional exercise, and women will generally consider subjective information like customer reviews. Men, on the other hand, may consider more objective information like the make and size of a product.
Men: Creatures of brand habit – Women: Prefer quality and service
Men will in most cases stick with a brand they know and trust. They will have purchased products from this brand countless times before so know what to expect regardless of popular opinion. Women, however, will consider the quality of a product, and the service of a supplier and are less likely to stick to one brand. They will assess different brands and make a purchase based on tangible evidence, not brand recognition.
Men: Prefers mobile shopping – Women: Likes the physicality and interaction
Research shows that men are not as bothered about actually visiting a shop, and are more likely to shop online or indeed on their smartphones. To them, the shopping experience is merely about buying an item, so the physical interaction is not required. Women, however, enjoy the physical interactions and the process of shopping – They appreciate seeing the products first hand and being able to interact with them.
As you can see, there is a great deal of gender differences in purchase decision making. To be a successful retailer and to drive people into your brick and mortar store, you should seek to understand these differences and play on them to cater better to both women and men.