Companies achieve, on average, 33x ROI using Agilence Read the report!
Schedule Demo Schedule Demo

Understanding the Difference Between Men and Women (When Shopping)

The male shopper has been puzzling retailers, so what is the real difference between men and women
Understanding the Difference Between Men and Women (When Shopping)

I’ve said it many times in this blog…the retail environment is changing as we know it. This time around we are talking about a topic that has been puzzling retailers for quite a few year now, the male shopper. Ever since the beginning of retail many have considered women to be the key shopper, and have molded their stores and shopping experiences around female behavior. However, as we move deeper into the twenty first century men are taking a bigger role when it comes to shopping, and some retailers are having trouble adapting.

In fact, male vs female behavior has become such a known issues that the internet has had some fun with the topic, focusing on some stereotypes like:

Women vs Men

Now depending on who you are, this chart can either be funny or offensive. Regardless of your beliefs, this chart isn’t very far off from what researchers have discovered when analyzing the habits of male and female shoppers. For example, research has shown that the average man treats shopping like a chore, and the goal is the get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible. They know what they want, and that’s all they get. There is very little price comparison or product research included in their shopping plan (unless it is a big purchase like a computer or car, then men take much more time to research and determine the best buy).

On the other hand, women tend to treat shopping as if it were a social event. They try to get the most out of their experience, and that often means extended browsing and impulse buys. Women are also more price sensitive than men, and are more likely to have coupons on hand or price compare online while browsing a selection in store. At the end of the day, though, it’s not really about differences in behavior, it’s really about enjoyment. Be it nature or nurture, more women enjoy shopping than men which leads to a disconnect in the habits of both.

Even though many retailers focus on behavior when they cater to men and women, there is something much more subtle that should be considered: color. Let’s do a little experiment, take a look at the box below:

What color do you see

What color do you see? Now ask a member of the opposite sex what they see and I’m going to guess that they said something different then you. The reason for the different answer isn’t because one of you is more observant or detailed than the other, it’s because women and men actually see color differently. This is something that retailers can overlook when appealing to different genders. For example men like bright, bold colors while women prefer softer pastel colors. This is something that needs to be kept in mind if you plan on becoming gender neutral (by the way, if you are looking for a color that will please most everyone it’s probably best to stick with blues according to science).

Regardless of how you feel about the shopping habits of men and women, it’s going to be interesting to see how the industry reacts over the coming years. We are in the midst of a transitional period where both women and men participating in the family shopping duties, and the retailers that can cater to both genders will likely come out on top.


Subscribe to our blog

Receive free educational resources like exclusive reports, webinars, and industry thought leadership articles straight to your inbox.