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Men and shopping
Part 2: Knowledge is power
The Retail Acumen Series
By Stephen Ogden-Barnes (Retail Industry Fellow, Deakin University)
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About the author ......................................................................................................... 1
Introduction ................................................................................................................. 2
The battle for wallet and watch: men revealed .......................................................... 2
Shopping 101 .............................................................................................................. 3
A shared responsibility? .............................................................................................. 4
Information gathering .................................................................................................. 4
Branding ...................................................................................................................... 5
Global brand awareness ............................................................................................. 5
Brand extension .......................................................................................................... 6
Brand trust .................................................................................................................. 6
Message focus in advertising and promotion ............................................................. 6
In store ........................................................................................................................ 7
Customer satisfaction: are men really harder to please? ......................................... 10
Focus on: men and fashion ....................................................................................... 11
Focus on: grocery shopping ...................................................................................... 14
Focus on: shopping centres ...................................................................................... 16
Focus on: loyalty ....................................................................................................... 17
Focus on: online ........................................................................................................ 17
Gift giving: Christmas is coming ................................................................................ 19
Conclusion ................................................................................................................ 21
Bibliography .............................................................................................................. 22


1
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Steve Ogden-Barnes is Retail Industry Fellow at the Deakin University Graduate
School of Business. Following a diverse career in UK retailing, Steve moved to
Australia to specialise in retail education, industry engagement and research. Steve
has recently completed a PhD focusing on marketing decision-making and sales
promotion management in the Australian retail marketplace. In addition, he is
supporting the development of the new Graduate Certificate of Retail Management
at Deakin, due to be launched in 2012. Steve is a regular commentator on retail and
consumer issues, for the Australian Financial Review, The Age, The Australian, the
Herald Sun, BRW, ABC Radio and Today Tonight.






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Women appear to find satisfaction or pleasure in shopping far more than men, while men have
significantly more disdain for shopping than do women. While the shopping gender gap may
constitute a complicating factor for consumer marketers, it would be better to recognise the gender
differences and accommodate them than to remain ignorant of them, operating under a set of false
assumptions regarding the diminishment of sex roles and gender differences.

Source: Gender effects on Internet, catalogue and store shopping [1]


Although Mister-Myths clearly exist in relation to men and shopping as explored in
the first white paper in this series, there is a more robust and significant body of
recent research that provides powerful insights into how men view and approach
shopping. This research also acts as counterpoint to many of the commonly-held
Mister-Myths. Conducted by well respected academics and practitioners, this
knowledge reveals how gender influences shopping behaviours. This is the starting
point for understanding how retailers and marketers may need to revise their
strategies of advertising, promotion, merchandising and service provision if they are
to become more effective in appealing to the male shoppers mindset and secure a
bigger share of both wallet and watch (i.e. money and time).
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In US research cited above which compared male and female opinions of store,
catalogue and web shopping, men were reported to be more likely to try to minimise
rather than optimise their shopping activities, it, and in general had less positive
things and more negative things to say about shopping than women (with the
exception of internet shopping). The authors conclusion strengthens the argument
for stronger gender-specific consideration of marketing messaging, based on
knowledge, not assumption. US researchers Cele Otnes and Mary Anne McGrath
explored three common male shopping stereotypes (Grab and Go, Whine and
Wait and Fear of the Feminine) [2] and largely refuted them through research.
They found that men actually enjoyed shopping, shopped together and gained
satisfaction through conducting research in relation to their purchases. Unlike
women however, for men successful shopping was all about achievement not social


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interaction - men shopped to win. But how many retailers possess an in depth
knowledge of such key gender differences and how many use this knowledge to
leverage visitation, sales and customer loyalty? Its time to lift the lid on the male
shopper, and head back to school...
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Most researchers agree there are distinct stages involved in the shopping process.
These key stages can be presented as a model or process, as illustrated below.


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These stages may sometimes not all be followed by a consumer, or may not be
followed in this order. For example a customer may visit a store before conducting
any research, or may not put a lot of emphasis on choosing between product options
within a store. Similarly, a customer may conduct research into a store or product,
visit, but not ultimately purchase. However, research has revealed striking evidence
of how male and female behaviours may differ at these crucial stages and for
retailers tapping into this body of knowledge can be a powerful resource.
need and
movlLauon: l woot
ooe
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awareness: l koow
tbey sell tbem ...
8esearch: wbete's
tbe best ploce to qet
ooe?
vlslLauon: let's see lf
tbey'te ooy qooJ
roducL search:
wbete ote tbey?
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comparlson: wblcb
ls best?
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l'll toke tbot ooe
urchase. wbete Jo
l poy?
Aer sales
engagemenL: coo l
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8epeaL vlslLauon
and purchase. see
yoo oext ume


4
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Marriage is all about sharing, but research from Norway [3] suggest that husbands
may not pursue the sharing of shopping roles and responsibilities with the same
degree of enthusiasm as their wives. The conclusion of the research is that:
In other words, it is probable that while modern wives invite their husbands to participate in the
traditional female-dominated markets, wives have to conquer the technological markets, as their
husbands are perfectly satisfied with their own niche.
Its could be a case of well shop for groceries, clothes and shoes, but Ill choose the
TV. That doesnt necessarily mean Norwegian women are necessarily at a
disadvantage as shopping partners. As the authors propose:

The first, rather unexpected, impression from the results is that to live as a couple could be more
advantageous for wives than for husbands. Compared with single people, wives to a greater extent
tend to leave technological purchase responsibilities to their husbands than husbands tend to leave
responsibilities for daily purchase responsibilities to their wives

So, if youre marketing groceries in Norway, make sure you appeal to both men and
women. If youre marketing technical household goods however, just go for the guys
as they seem to carry sole responsibility for that particular decision.
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Research has revealed differences in how men and women search for information in
support of their purchase decisions. So are men the lonely hunters, making vital
decisions in the field and bearing all responsibility? It would appear so. US research
into wine buying [4] confirms to a degree our view of women as social retail
networkers, leveraging personal contacts and exploring diverse information sources.
They like to talk about it, and hear about it and make their own decisions, Men prefer
to read about it, and may only seek additional input if they feel especially unqualified
to decide:

Three key findings emerge from this research. First, the data overall support previously established
findings that females search behaviour often entails interpersonal affiliations, where their preference
is to reach out to friends, family or other personal sources of information and are accepting of others
opinions. For males, they found impersonal or published material, most important in information


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search confirming the belief that males are less comfortable with personal interaction in making life
decisions.
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In terms of brand and advertising messaging, research from the UK [5] reveals that
men may respond more positively to aspiration brand messaging than females, who
may reject marketing messages which emphasise standing out from the crowd. To
communicate effectively with male consumers, retailer should therefore emphasise
success, prestige and achievement in relation to brand adherence much more so
than for female customers, who may find this emphasis alienating. Women may like
to be noticed, but do not necessarily welcome the brand-limelight. Men however may
like to be seen as taking centre-stage as the leading brand-man:
Males may be more materialistic and have a stronger orientation towards external validation through
visually portraying prestige and accomplishment. Males also may be more active in processing
advertising cues, which emphasize the conspicuousness of brands. Alternatively, females may be
rejecting messages to be noticed or stand out and/or they may not be accurately processing these
cues as males do.
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If you are a US fashion retailer looking to enter the Spanish market, research has
revealed that men were more US brand aware, and more likely to own US brands
than women [6], perhaps a consequence of men being more influenced by media
and cultural messaging than women, who prior research had indicated were more
influenced by family and friends. In addition, Spanish men were less concerned with
fashionability and size availability than Spanish women, implying that men may be
happier to purchase less contemporary product over fewer SKUs than women.
Spain: its where US retailers can sell old stock in odd sizes and still be well
regarded! Trying to launch a new brand? Research from India reveals that men have
a higher risk taking propensity when it comes to new brand experiences, and maybe
therefore more likely to try new products and to brand switch as a consequence.
Mature male consumers were however less likely to talk to peers about their recent
purchases than younger males, limiting perhaps the effectiveness of word of mouth
marketing for new products aimed at older male demographics [7].


6
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Thinking of extending your fashion brand into new categories? It may be easier with
male customers. Research from Hong-Kong [8] has demonstrated that females are
much more concerned about image projection than men in relation to brand
extension - if they dont perceive a strong affinity between their self-image and your
brand, what you extend your brand into is irrelevant, even if it is great shoes with a
built in mobile phone, lie detector and lipstick dispenser. Men just might give it a go
if it looks like itll do the job regardless of brand affinity.
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Who do you trust? When it comes to fashion, men are apparently happier to base
their buying decision on what the organisation tells them, as opposed to what their
friends tell them [9]. The authors in this case confirm that:
perhaps most importantly, is the finding that male apparel shoppers appear to use promotional cues,
including magazine advertisements, television advertisements, store displays and salespersons, more
frequently than the personal information sources of family members, co-workers and friends.
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Finally, research from the US [10] reveals that male consumers are more responsive
to money saving and after-sales service messages within advertising more so than
females. Younger males were found to be more responsive to these factors than
older males. Females liked to hear more about brand, image, experience and
enjoyment than the practicalities of the deal. Expect men to use promotional
coupons less than women in categories such as fast food, food delivery, dry cleaning
and automobile servicing but expect men to be more avid users of store loyalty cards
than women. Men however use coupons three times more than women in relation to
electronics / gaming purchases but women used coupons three times more than
men when making online purchases [11]. Depending on your target market, expect
more educated men use coupons more often. Getting men to respond to coupons
more effectively might be a case of repositioning the offer - US research [12]
suggests that men may perceive the redemption of coupons as a largely female
pursuit.


7
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UK research [13] has revealed that men arent just functional or replacement
shoppers. They also shop to make themselves feel better, to fill a perceived gap in
their lives, to overcome relationship breakdowns, to compensate for not having a
girlfriend or to relieves boredom. Shopping in this case as described by the authors
as serving a compensatory function, filling a lifestyle gap or serving an emotional
need. But how many fashion retailers understand - and capitalize upon - these male
shopping motivations?
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Multi-tasking is often portrayed as a key advantage women have over men when it
comes to shopping. They can jump between categories, buy bras and bread in a
single breath and still find time to get the family holiday booked. Men, as grab and
go shoppers may struggle with this, and prefer to stay focused on the single task in
hand, perhaps experiencing stress when the shopping list keeps getting added to, or
when the pursuit of their single goal is interrupted. Polychromic shopping behaviour
(retail multi-tasking) is more flexible, adaptable and responsive to the situation than
monochromic (single-tasking) shopping behaviour. But as more retailers focus on in-
store engagement, shopper interception initiatives, cross-merchandising and multi-
channel marketing, are women more able to deal with this retail store evolution than
men? Research from the US [14] provides guidance for retailers who appreciate the
difference:

Those polychromic time use shoppers who enjoy changing among activities may want the retailer to
provide a variety of product presentations, free trials, and demonstrations, while other more
monochromic shoppers may simply wish to focus on their desired purchases. It is essential that
retailers attempt to better understand how different types of shoppers wish to use their time.

This research doesnt prove that all women are efficient multi-task shoppers in all
circumstances - far from it. But it does prompt consideration of the negative impact
that marketing initiatives designed to detain and engage consumers in store may
have upon those who are more polychromic in their approach to shopping, i.e. men.
What marketers may intend to be engaging may in fact be perceived as frustrating.



8
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Why do married couples argue in shops? US research [15] has shown that in
husband and wife shopping relationships, husbands perceived that hypermarkets
had higher prices than their wives did, providing a counterpoint to the common
perception that women are the more price-concerned of the two sexes. It was further
highlighted that advertising messaging in relation to retailer quality werent getting
through to husbands in the same way that they were to wives. Husbands appeared
to be more critical in their assessment of their hypermarket, with more extensive
judgement factors revealed in their assessment processes. Hence, although men
thought hypermarkets were more expensive than females, lowering prices alone
wouldnt necessarily improve how they were perceived as quality retailers and the
money spent on getting the quality message across to guys was not apparently well
directed.
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When queuing at the checkouts, the wait may seem longer for men as they may be
less inclined to pass the time talking to a stranger in the queue than a female might
[16]. There is a further insight in relation to men and queuing - men reportedly
experience less technology anxiety than females, and therefore may be more likely
to avoid queues by using self checkout technology [17]. But them we always knew
men liked playing with new gadgets.
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If you have an interest in how customers pay, not just what they buy, research from
Saudi Arabia [18] provides some direction for businesses in optimising the
advantages to the business of different payment methods. For smaller amounts,
women are more likely to prefer cash and debit (as opposed to credit) than men, but
for larger transactions, men are more likely to prefer both cash and debit, but less
likely to prefer credit. However they pay, men may be more likely to query the bill -
US research has found males to be more price-aware than females [19].
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Further research from Portugal [20] confirms this view - men were more likely in this
case to demonstrate behaviour reflective of the pragmatic shopper as opposed to
the involved shopper. Pragmatic shoppers valued achievement and efficiency in the
shopping experience, while involved shoppers - mainly women - valued the social


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and hedonic aspects of the experience. For men, a success visit to the shops means
leaving with what you came for, having experienced a logical and efficient shopping
process. Delays, out of stocks, bungled service and price confusions could therefore
negatively affect the male opinion of the store visitation much more so than in the
case of a female shopper. And besides, as men often shop alone, theyve got no one
to let off steam with if things dont go according to plan.
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Studies have shown that are significant decision factors involved in how men
approach shopping in-store, and reveal key differences between male and female
mindsets. Researchers in the UK [21] identified decision making styles and priorities
unique to men. For wallet and watch disciples, two of these traits are particularly
noteworthy, as they refer to time spent shopping and loyalty to particular retailers.
They reported for example that:

The male traits of time-energy conserving and store promiscuity suggest male shoppers save time
either through visiting the same store and buying quickly (time-energy conserving) or being indifferent
to which store is selected and the brands offered by it (store promiscuity).

In Iran, similar research has revealed similar results for the Gen Y male shopper:
Iran men demonstrate bargain hunting tendencies, brand indifference and are short
of time to shop ([22].
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When appealing to male shoppers the joint issues of shopping focus and visit
efficiency are again evident. Research from the US [23] reveals Gen Y females
prefer to shop at Supercentres (a multi-taskers dream), compared to Gen Y men
who prefer to visit category killers. The same research however reveals that category
killer stores are also very popular with Gen X females!
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This research also revealed that men had a stronger propensity than women to visit
the same stores (although they werent especially loyal to the stores they did visit)
and when in those stores would seek to buy the lowest possible priced products.
They were also more confused in assessing which were the best stores to shop at.
Not an especially easy prospect for brand managers and marketers, but theres a


10
few aspects of the marketing and communications mix that may benefit from
revision.
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US research into the purchase habits of men and women engaged in wine tours
reveals that retailers shouldnt expect men to feel pressured or obliged to make a
purchase after an extensive sales demonstration or immersive product involvement.
They will however be more likely to purchase based on the degree of gratitude they
feel for the quality of the experience. Furthermore, the more grateful they are for the
knowledge gained and experience shared, the more they are likely to spend.
Women however in this case seemed to purchase because they felt it was expected
of them in this particular relationship situation [24]. In this study, men purchased
because theyd had a good time, and had maybe learnt a thing or two, while women
purchased because, well...everyone else was buying something and they felt that
they should.
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Studies conducted into consumer satisfaction indicate that men are in fact harder to
please as retail customers. Just as women seem to enjoys clothes shopping more
than men, in Korea for example men are reported to be less satisfied than women
with the clothing purchases they finally do make [25]. This research isnt about
customer service as much as marketing and merchandising. The happier a
consumer is with a product at point of purchase, the more likely they are to buy it, the
higher the price they will pay, and the more likely they are to repeat purchase. In the
case of fashion, it may be that retailers have to work much harder at both in store-
merchandising and point of sale brand / quality reinforcement for men than for
women, to achieve the same product satisfaction levels. The researchers in this case
make valuable recommendations for retailers:

This result suggests that to increase male consumer satisfaction, marketers should pay extra
attention to the design and quality of products as well as the presentation of products. In the current
South Korean market, female consumers can easily find well designed apparel, but the design and
quality in mens clothes needs to be improved.


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In this enlightened age - where over 50% of men are reported to be the primary
purchaser of their own clothes (that means by the way that just under 50% arent,
and are in fact dressed by their spouse) - there is real opportunity for fashion
retailers to capitalise on the male market share. But what does research tell us about
men and fashion shopping? Men, like women, manifest different levels of interest
and engagement with fashion themes, and fashion retailers. For men, as age
increases, interest in fashion may diminish, but it doesnt mean it cannot be
reignited. Hence, fashion retailers shouldnt give up on men, especially older
males.
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Men may be an attractive (if underserved) target market for fashion retailers, but for
those retailers targeting men, theres a problem - they get bored more quickly than
women. US research [26] indicates that retailers will have to work much harder to
maintain the interest of men in relation to fashion than they will for women. This
research reveals that men may need more external stimulation than women to have
their interest in fashion sustained. For fashion marketers that are hoping to appeal to
men it appears they might have to work much harder at developing and sustaining
interest in their brand and products than they will for females. In essence, retailers
should work harder at making fashion more interesting and engaging for men.
Women get the fashion=pleasure message, many men dont.
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In Germany, a study of 358 shoppers [27] revealed that both men and women
associated higher price with better quality, men favoured national (perhaps well-
known and familiar) brands more than women. Women had higher quality
expectations than men, but were more confused by the plethora of product
information available. A key difference between the sexes was that men were
interested in updating their wardrobes when products were on sale, but women were
interested in updating their wardrobe when a new product became available. Does
this mean that even new ranges should be promoted as on sale for men sooner
after launch than womens ranges? Men are more price aware but less price
conscious than women, so maybe a little sale goes a long way in motivating them to
purchase fashion.


12
Alternatively, what about reverse discounting for men, where fashionable products
go up in price as the stock levels reduce and the items become scarcer:

Last few items to clear: now 40% more than they were last week. Where were you
then?

That should appeal to the Hunter mentality.

This study also revealed a high emphasis on low price, economy and time saving,
with men consequently looking for the lowest prices...but not looking for very long.
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A UK study of divorced male shoppers [28] found that many of them had their
clothes bought for them by their previous partners often without their involvement.
Divorce meant self sufficiency - feeding and clothing yourself and many men had to
learn the ropes of fashion shopping quickly to evolve from unconscious
incompetence, to conscious competence. While perhaps more representative of
older men, the research revealed that many respondents reported dissatisfaction
with the service levels and attention they received in store. This research presents
three key points of learning for fashion retailers. Firstly, do retailers ever consider
that men in their store dont know how to shop, lack fashion sense, and are hesitant
to seek advice? (what other explanation is there for men wearing shorts, business
shoes and black socks?). Secondly, theres a real opportunity for retailer to form a
stronger bond with their less confident male fashion shoppers through personal
service, relationship and loyalty building. Thirdly dress after divorce could be a
really strong marketing message:

Did your ex-wife buy those clothes for you? We can help.

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Do men really buy more from attractive sales assistants? That questions rather
misses the point of US research [29] conducted into the effects of attractiveness in
retail environments. The researchers concluded that:



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The results show that when male consumers believe that a highly attractive female has touched a
product (i.e., they believe she has tried it on), they raise their evaluations of the product. In contrast,
female consumers evaluations did not increase significantly when they believed that a highly
attractive (versus average) female had previously touched the target product.
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With men and fashion, its a question of maintaining interest, involvement and
motivation. Researchers in the US [30] concluded:
!marketers would be wise to target high and medium involved male consumer groups. To retain and
increase purchases among these two groups, marketers should create new, fashionable styles and/or
develop an image of their brand of casual wear to capture male college students' attention. Mass
media, print and broadcast more specifically featuring men's casual wear advertising should be
targeted to college aged males. To capture the low involvement group, marketers should create sale
events after or before holidays, such as Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. During
holidays, the low involvement customers may plan to spend more money. Apparel marketers have
focused on the lucrative women's wear market for a long time - it is now time to focus on men's
apparel needs.
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A study of Hispanic fashion shoppers in the US [31] revealed that females were both
more confident shoppers and more price conscious than their male counterparts.
Men were more brand and fashion conscious than females however, suggesting that
in this case price was a lesser concern in the decision making process. Both men
and women didnt seem to enjoy spending a great deal of time engaged in fashion
shopping and shopped for clothes where they perceived they could best save time -
no siesta time at the shops here. This research is significant in that it illustrated the
importance of not generalising about male / female shopping differentials irrespective
of country or culture. The key message here? If in doubt, dont assume...research!
For countries with rapidly changing cultural demographics like the UK, US, Canada
and Australia this message in especially relevant.
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If shopping is an essentially feminine enthusiasm, gay men should in theory be
better fashion shoppers and perhaps be more prone to compulsive shopping
tendencies than straight men, as women may be more likely to manifest unhealthy
compulsive shopping behaviours than men as they battle issues of low self esteem,
stress and depression. But what about gay men - are they prone to compulsive
shopping tendencies because theyre more feminine in nature? It appears that gay


14
men are no more likely to become compulsive shoppers than straight men [32]. For
gay men, shopping was aligned to female motivations relating to relieving stress,
feeling better about themselves and improving image. But like straight men, they
were just as likely to have their shopping under control. In fact, it is proposed,
marketing to the perception that gay men are must have fashion shoppers may be
both misguided and alienating. Disturbingly, rather than embracing shopping with
open arms researchers from the US proposes that gay men with IH issues
(Internalised Homophobia) may actually avoid shopping in conventional bricks and
mortar outlets because of the perceived negative connotations between fashion
shopping and homosexuality. It could be a case of out of the closet, but not into the
store [33]
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If Greydollafella was a little shopping resistant, Gen Y man is not necessarily the
answer to fashion retailers prayers. Its easy to a stereotype Gen Y males as more
fashion aware, more technologically connected and more inclined to spend their
disposable income on fashion products to enhance their social and sexual status. UK
research has however revealed a degree of fashion-resistance in this demographic
[34]). They may be fashion-aware, but theyre not necessarily fashion driven and
theyre not influenced to the same extent by peers as their female counterparts.
Anti-fashion marketing may be the answer. For Gen Y males, fashion isnt the way
to achieve success and popularity, its the sign of success and popularity.
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Supermarkets appear to be key training ground for men in relation to breaking down
traditional views of male / female shopping stereotypes. US researchers [12]
concluded that:
men in households where they are the primary grocery shopper or share this responsibility equally are
significantly more likely than other men to believe purchasing a variety of products is equally
appropriate for men and women.






13
For multi-format retailers looking to attract more men, it appears that you should start
with grocery. US research [35] supports this view:


The trend setter in terms of shopping, however, is likely to be the male grocery shopper. Although a
statistical minority, more men claim primary responsibility for grocery shopping when the wifes
occupation is not that of a homemaker. Not only do they claim greater primary shopping responsibility,
they seem to hold stronger attitudes in favour of shopping as well.
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However, grocery shopping is a skill and females are more accurate grocery
shoppers than men - they are more efficient in recalling where products are, and are
better at locating them, although they may take longer to do so [36]. Men may be
more like a dog looking for a lost ball in a field - they cross-hatch frantically until they
stumble upon what theyre looking for by chance. Women, by comparison, seem to
know where the ball is, but take their time in bringing it back!

Turkish researchers [37] have also confirmed that women are more careful shopper
than men when it comes to grocery shopping, particularly in relation nutritional
considerations. Women read the labels and absorb the product data more so than
men when considering food purchases. They conclude:

It has become apparent that women are more careful about safety when shopping for food and they
are generally better shoppers.

US research [38] has revealed that men are more likely to purchase GM (Genetically
Modified) products than females (presumably because they didnt read the label). In
general although more men may be doing the grocery shopping than ever before
recent research continues to reveal theyre simply not as involved in food issues as
women are [39].
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Men and women even think differently when buying ready meals. Research from
Sweden [40] shows that men place higher emphasis on convenience-related factors,
(i.e. speed and ease of meal preparation) than women, while women tended to have
a greater interest in health and nutrition aspects of the purchase.



16
As the authors conclude:

It is therefore likely that men would be more attracted by a marketing message stressing the function
and convenience of the product.
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In relation to shopping centres in particular, research from Singapore [41] reveals
some surprisingly straightforward satisfaction factors: cleanliness; high quality
customer service; good product knowledge of sales personnel and friendly design
layout topped the list. Perhaps reflecting mens apparent aversion to mixing
shopping, entertainment and socialisation the least valued attributes were availability
of roadshows and availability of celebrations, activities and functions. The research
revealed some interest in sales and promotions, with the authors proposing:

Conventional retail wisdom holds that most men shun the traffic and long queues associated with
sales. Thus, it would prove a good move to aim sales and promotions exclusively at men to empower
them. For instance, shopping centres could host special promotional events with male themes. The
management of shopping centres could hold joint events with clubs with a male following to entice
them and build up mall loyalty.

Contrary to what we might expect, research from the UK [42] has found there is a
stronger link between the enjoyment experienced as a result of a shopping centre
visit and the subsequent intention to revisit for men compared to women. If men
perceive their visit as enjoyable, they have are more inclined to come back
compared to women who may find the experience enjoyable, but not necessarily be
driven to revisit the same location to the same degree. The message here is
surprising, and suggests men could actually be more loyal shopping centre
customers if their enjoyment of the visit is optimised. The authors propose that in this
case enjoyment is a function of goal achievement more so for men than for women:

Perhaps shopping is a functional activity for men, and enjoyment of shopping for men is actually
driven by their shopping experience allowing them to be decisive, and to complete their shopping
quickly and efficiently.



17
In emergent retail economies like India, where research has revealed young men
and women share very similar attitudes and behaviours in relation to shopping malls
[43], accommodating both female and male demands in shopping centre design will
be especially vital for the future.
F"0*& "#8 3"@,3$@
In the subject of loyalty, research from Holland [44] has revealed that women value
relationships with - and are therefore more loyal to - individual, personal
representatives of an organisation much more so than men. Men are loyal to Jack
Daniels. Women are loyal to Jack and Daniel at the local Starbucks. This has
significant marketing implications, as the authors conclude:

In general, our findings suggest that companies targeting female consumers should depend more
than companies targeting male consumers on relationships between individual employees and
customers. Whereas male consumers may be satisfied with an anonymous relationship with a store
or chain, female consumers demand more personal, one-to-one relationships. Compared with men,
female consumers allegiances may be more to specific employees than to a store or chain.
F"0*& "#8 "#31#%
O&0%&5 ,=+56*%-%&'
We live in a multi-channel age, where advertising messaging reaches us through
diverse media including TV, newspapers, mobile phone and the internet. For
consumers the web is all about choice and for online advertisers if someone is
getting your message its because they want to. However the way in which men and
women engage with brands online has been found to differ significantly [45]. This
could imply that in the future web content and online advertising messaging isnt
universal or asexual, but gender specific.

Men are often portrayed as functional (or utilitarian) shoppers, and as consequence,
studies often reveal that men hold positive views on internet shopping, and manifest
strong intentions to use the internet as a key shopping channel [46], as web
shopping offers a way for men to avoid the stress they associate with physical store
visits [47]. However, men and women demonstrate tangible differences in their
approach to online research and purchasing and its important for retailers and


18
marketers to understand - and accommodate - these differences in their online
strategies.
51-"#$$%&'
Research from the UK [48] confirms what many men suspect - shopping and
socialisation are strongly related for females - even online. Females prefer social e-
shopping sites to traditional web-based shopping sites for example. In addition,
theyre more likely than men to pursue social and entertainment links on a website
than men are. US research into consumer visitation to Reebok Nike and New
Balance websites found for example that women explored more social and
entertainment site options than men, who did more technical legwork [49]. Men
therefore seem to view the function and features of retail websites very differently.
As one academic concluded:

...although males are more likely to make Web purchases than females, perhaps females are more
likely to use the shopping sites for enjoyment and information gathering (versus purchase) and then
purchase in more traditional settings [50].
A6,&-,8*%#& ,&= 5D$56%5&85
For women, the importance of enjoyment, experience and social interaction in
relation to their online shopping trip is greater for women than for men [51], [52].
Danish research portrays men as shopping for speed, and women as shopping for
fun on the web [53]. (The same research also proposes that if men cant find what
theyre looking for online, theyre more likely to blame themselves and their search
skills, rather than point the finger at the e-tailer). In Singapore females shoppers
miss physical store and product encounter much more so than men [54]. Men, it
seems may simply be easier to please and seek less engagement than women to be
satisfied with their online encounter. In relation to the social aspect of online
shopping, US research suggests a downside - that men may be less inclined to pass
on promotional emails to friends and colleagues than women, or may need stronger
motivation to do so [55], perhaps as a result of their lack of emphasis on social e-
commerce connections. The same research suggested that women placed a higher
emphasis on strong visuals, coupons and links to further information sources than
men did in promotional emails, while men seem to prefer more factual
communications.


19
B6,&= $6%#6%*%5-
Research into gender differences in online shopping in Taiwan [56] reveals that
although men and women may perceive the web equally favourably as consumers,
there are real gender differences in consumers approaches to the web that have
significance for retail marketers. Mens online decision making was dominated by
brand concerns, while for females, it was driven by the quest for fashion and novelty.
This focus has been noted in other countries, where men are often found to search
by brand name, as opposed to style or category. The authors propose that these key
decision influences not be overlooked in web marketing strategies:

A female Internet consumers decision-making is dominated by novel-fashion and a male Internet
shoppers decision-making is dominated by brand. Managers of Internet shopping websites can focus
on novel-fashion and brand issues for females and males, which may help managers to design a
more suitable homepage and marketing mix
H&?#6),*%#& ',*"56%&'
Although men in the US conduct more online research than women and are bigger
online spenders [57], women may be better at doing their homework. Research from
Korea [58] revealed that females were more likely to seek product review, customer
reviews and access online assistance than men, who presumably just checked out
the brand, specifications and price. This difference in multi-source information
seeking may be partially explained by research from Australia [51] which suggests
that females may be more apprehensive about placing their trust in brands online
(well, theyve had their hearts broken before in internet relationships).
C14$ =1:1#=8 !+-1&$9,& 1& 0"91#=
Christmas comes but once a year - but for many men, thats once too often. Women
have been found to buy for more people (an average of 12.5) than men do (an
average of 8), and women start buying earlier (October, compared to men
(November). However, men spend nearly 50% more per recipient, but spend less
time choosing a gift per recipient [59]. Thats why, in the case of this study, their gift
return rate may be have been higher. In pure margin terms however, for retailers,
motivating men to buy a Christmas gift for one more person is better than getting
women to buy for an additional three people.


20
P",*Q- #& 7#/6 )%&=@
Apparently men, when considering gift giving, are more driven to wild imaginings
fantasy than women [60]. Notions of intrigue, favour and acceptance (and yes, sex)
- may dominate their thoughts. Women however may focus more on the pragmatic:
its our anniversary, or thatd be useful for example. If a man buys lingerie for a
woman, its an obvious sign of romantic intent. If a female buys underwear for a man,
its because he need some. Females do not apparently have a set of gift signals
that communicate the intent to develop intimacy. Research involving consumers from
the UK, the US and Canada [61] has revealed a startling truth - men rely more
heavily of the advice of sales people in-store than women do when its gift buying
time. Women appear more adept at gathering micro-information - (i.e. reading
labels and packing information) more than men, before seeking sales associate
assistance. The simple conclusion here for sales managers is that men should be
approached before women, and women should be given time to conduct their own
research before being pounced on by sales staff. How many retailers know that?
There is a note of caution however, which may not be totally unexpected to wives
and girlfriends:
It is likely that many of the stores where the clothing gifts were purchased are largely staffed by young
female sales personnel. One could therefore speculate that the greater reliance on sales people
reported by men in this study might reflect (at least partially) the notion that men enjoy interacting with
attractive, young women.
A%)5 $##6
Research from the US has suggests a long terms decline in the number men visiting
department stores in general, and at Christmas in particular representing what are
termed Lost Male Shoppers [62]. The reasons cited by interviewees in this research
are by now familiar: no help available, confusing store layouts and an aversion to
visiting the mall as opposed to more local and time efficient shopping destinations.
Men are so time poor it appears that the authors in this case recommend that dads
should be able to make appointments to see Father Christmas with their kids in
store, to avoid wasteful queuing. They could always talk to attractive young female
sales staff while theyre waiting to pass the time...but dont tell mum!


21
!"#03*&1"#
As illustrated, there is strong recent evidence to confirm that real differences in the
way that men and women approach shopping exist. Whether buying food or fashion
or shopping in-store or online, men have different priorities and different expectations
to women at all stages of the shopping process. To what extent these differences are
acknowledged and accommodated by marketers is debateable, however it is
believed that great opportunities exist for those businesses which invest in
understanding how basic demographics can influence shopper behaviour.











22
B1)31"=-,<+@

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