By Amanda Ferrante, Assistant Editor
Men and women come from different departments when it comes to shopping.
A recent edition of The Wise Marketer featured a new benchmark study investigating the difference in shopping habits in gender. The study examined the experiences most likely to deter shoppers from a particular retailer, and found that approximately half of all customers reported encountering problems during their most recent shopping experience.
Conducted by the Jay H. Baker Retail initiative at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, The Verde Group, and Women Certified, the ‘Men Buy, Women Shop’ study examined the problems men and women face in-store, and how their experiences differ. The study found that women are more likely to experience problems than men (53% against 48%) when shopping. Factoring in age as well as gender, this result applied especially to women over the age of 40, compared to men of the same ages.
That being said, the study notes that men who experience a shopping problem are more likely to cause detriment to the retailer. Nearly 20% are less likely to recommend a store where they encountered a problem.
TOP IN-STORE EXPERIENCE DETERRENTS
Both men and women listed their most encountered problems, but some are more likely than others to make the shopper stray away from the store- resulting in a loss of business.
• 29% was a lack of help when needed.
• Approximately 6% of female shoppers will not return to the store as a result.
• The problem most likely to deter men from a particular retailer is when a product is out of stock.
• Approximately 5% of men will desert the retailer as a result.
While retailers may emphasize the importance of customer service and assistance in-store, both men and women reported being the most satisfied with sales associates’ willingness to let them shop or browse at their own pace. The ever-present opener, “How may I help you?” may be better left unsaid.
Retailers should be conscious of these turnoffs:
• Women said that when she feels like an imposition, 47% of those surveyed are less likely to return to the store because “store employees acted like shoppers were intruding on their time or their own conversations.”
• 22% of men felt the same way, supporting the theory that men are less personal when it comes to shopping.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CRM
It’s important for retailers to pay close attention to what the customer feels builds loyalty. This is what brings shoppers back to the store.
• Men say that a key loyalty builder is the sales associate’s interest in assisting them in their findings in-store.
• Getting to the checkout quickly is another element of successful shopping for men.
• Women’s loyalty stems from the sales associate’s knowledge on products and the ability to understand her needs as a consumer, offering products suitable for her taste.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS
Because the viral effect can sometimes be more of a marketing effort than traditional ones, it’s important for retailers to acknowledge the consumer’s complaints, as their in-store incidents (positive and negative), are liable to be repeated to friends, who are also shoppers.
• Women are more likely than men to discuss their experiences because they are more particular about the in-store experience.
• The study indicates great emphasis should be put on retailers being attentive to the shopper’s needs- especially female shoppers.
The Wise Marketer: www.thewisemarketer.com
Verde Group: www.verdegroup.ca
Jay H. Baker: www.bakerretail.wharton.upenn.edu
Women Certified: www.womencertified.com