When you think about the quintessential shopper, chances are you automatically think of a woman. That stereotype is in the process of falling, however. Male shoppers are catching up to women and even surpassing them in some categories when it comes to money spent. Retailers need to pay attention to this demographic shift so they can gear their customer experience to capture both female and male shoppers.
Male shoppers differ from women in some key ways. Take a look at these points that retailers should keep in mind.
Looking for an Experience
Retailers seeking the male dollar often need to focus on customer experience. Most men are fascinated by mass customization, a shopping process by which they can use technology to customize their choices of items as personalized as a suit or a pair of shoes. The complex process actually makes the shopping experience more valuable. Club-store retailer Costco, which is very popular with men, capitalizes on this desire for an experience by constantly moving merchandise within its stores, so shoppers can't fall into the habit of cruising the same aisles on each visit. This plays right into the male desire for shopping to become an adventure.
Ready for Help
When men hit the clothing stores, they're ready to ask for help. This is especially true of male shoppers under the age of 35. Retailers can take advantage of this desire for help by populating the store with salespeople who are equipped to answer questions and make helpful suggestions. As retailers catering to women have long ago learned, helping to put a whole outfit together is a unique form of upselling that can result in higher sales figures. Providing knowledgeable assistance also augments the shopping experience.
Not as Organized as They Think They Are
While male shoppers tend to make lists before shopping, they're less likely than women to take inventory and make sure that they actually need the items on their lists. This can lead to a more scattered experience once they actually arrive at the supermarket or the mall. Retailers who help men connect their lists with the store's offerings can engender loyalty and repeat visits; for example, a supermarket might make a digital shopping list available that can help men find the items they're looking for on the shelf. Men also take longer than women to complete their shopping errands and are significantly less efficient. Retailers can take advantage of this statistic by arranging their offerings so as to draw male shoppers off the expected path, encouraging them to make impulse purchases.
Retailers can key in on male shoppers by combining technology and assistance with just a touch of the unexpected. By allowing shopping to become an adventure and providing both personal and digital help, retailers can build real loyalty in their male customers.
Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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