Men And Women: Differences In Buying Habits And Purchasing Decisions

John Gray’s 1992 book ” Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus ” confirmed what men and women have always known: the two sexes differ in their perspectives, motives, reasons, and actions. Although the reason for the differences (nature or nurture) continues to be debated, study after study reflects similar results, and sophisticated companies have adapted their outreach programs to account for these differences. Everything from advertising style, message, and media, to product design, store layout, sales training, and customer service policies, are designed to specifically appeal to both genders.

The goal of every retailer is:

Failure to address gender idiosyncrasies can have real financial consequences for retailers. In an article in the New York Times published on February 16, 2012, Eric Siegel, consultant and president of the conference Predictive Analytics World, said: “We are living a golden era of research behavior. It’s amazing how much we can discover how people think now. ”

The differences between women and men

Whether (and to what extent) men and women differ has been a controversial issue for years. Many scientists worry that perceived differences have led to discrimination and unfair treatment under the assumption that one gender has attributes and the other does not. While there are observable differences between the brains of men and women and how they process information, the researchers emphasize that the differences do not reflect the superiority of a single gender.

Furthermore, studies indicate that sex-specific characteristics are found on a broad spectrum that contains substantial overlap between the sexes. Trying to accurately stereotype a single person is difficult, if not impossible. In other words, if you choose a man and a woman out of the crowd, they could be very similar or different depending on the unique characteristics of each person. However, recognizing the general characteristics of each sex is important for product retailers, especially if your product is designed to predominantly appeal to one or the other sex.

Although both genders are capable of equivalent intellectual performance, there are numerous physical differences between male and female brains:

These differences allow researchers to attract individual shoppers by aligning marketing messages, advertising, product features, store layouts and displays (including colors), and customer service with expectations of gender and characteristics. purchase of desired customers. Being aware of the influence your gender has on the products you buy and the price you pay can make you a more demanding shopper.

The impact of shopping habits

Whether you’re male or female, your purchasing decisions are based more on habit than rational decision-making, according to Dr. Neale Martin , a professor at Kennesaw State University’s Cole School of Business. Tony Ezell, Vice President of Eli Lilly and Company agrees, using the example of physicians who, acting with their unconscious brain when making decisions, continue to prescribe drugs they are used to, even as they understand that new drugs are better and longer. insurance. Once shopping habits are established, it is difficult to get rid of them because it is human nature to resist change.

Knowing that habit drives most purchasing decisions and consumer behavior, companies focus on the initial purchase decision to gain an advantage before a habit is established, ensuring that their products or services are the beneficiaries of the eventual formation of habits. These efforts focus on the following:

While it would be impractical (and impossible) to systematically evaluate and objectively determine each purchase, consumers must be aware of the habits that drive their purchasing decisions. In cases where results are more critical (significant differences in price, quality, durability, convenience, or utility), a more rational purchasing process is generally warranted to ensure a successful outcome.

Male and female shopping stereotypes

Despite nearly equal numbers, according to Bloomberg , women make more than 85% of consumer purchases in the United States and reportedly influence more than 95% of total goods and services purchased. Women as a whole are considered more sophisticated buyers than men, and they take more time to make a purchase decision.

Marti Barletta , president of The TrendSight Group and co-author of ” Just Ask a Woman: Cracking the Code of What Women Want and How They Buy, ” explains that men prefer to buy a viable product than keep shopping, while women prefer keep shopping buy hoping to find a perfect solution. In other words, women are more selective and more likely to buy a product that meets all their requirements.

Female shoppers

According to a 2007 survey by the AMP Agency , “A woman’s approach to shopping is a very important part of who she is; it’s part of their DNA. ” The way a woman shops when she’s 18 is the same way she shops when she’s 43. It’s a lifelong mindset. This idea was unexpected, as most observers expected that women’s shopping habits changed as they got older.

The AMP study states that women fall into four different mindsets that dictate their respective buying patterns:

Women tend to be smarter consumers than men, simply because they are willing to invest the time and energy necessary to research and compare products. At the same time, their bilateral brain approach to problem solving makes them more susceptible to emotional appeals than a man.

Although women are considered to be better buyers, they would benefit if:

Male buyers

An article in Forbes suggests that for most men, shopping for clothes is like “having your own brain surgery.” Another study suggests that male grocery shoppers are “like a dog looking for a lost ball in a field: they frantically cross the plot until they stumble upon what they are looking for by chance.” The same study describes men as “pragmatic shoppers”, who consider success as “leaving with what they came for, having experienced a logical and efficient buying process.”

In other words, men like to get in, get what they need, and get out fast. Men are not great comparison shoppers and are willing to pay a little more to speed up the process than to waste time searching for bargains. In The Wall Street Journal , Delia Passi, CEO of consumer advocacy and research group WomenCertified, says that for men, the worst outcome is leaving a store empty-handed.

According to Jim Foster , marketing consultant and retail coach, “Men generally shop alone. Men rarely compare prices. Men don’t care if the item is on sale. Men don’t really care about color. Men sometimes compare quality, but usually only when it comes to tools. ” Stores serving men understand these trends and focus marketing on inventory depth, technical features, and efficient checkout processes. Less likely Men searching for bargains or using coupons Men are also more likely to accept a less than ideal product and prefer to avoid another shopping trip.

Male consumers would benefit from:

Final word

Shopping is the engine of the nation’s economy. Simon Hoggart, a prominent British journalist, says that shopping, for Americans, is an affirmation of faith in our country. We have a physical, moral and economic reason to buy, but there are no rules that say we should buy or pay higher prices for products that do not fully satisfy our wants and needs.

What kind of buyer are you? How do you make decisions about your purchases?

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