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Monday, December 6, 2010

Online Shopping: Men or Women?

When it comes to shopping, we automatically think . . . women.  And shopping is serious business for women too.  Us guys seem to always do it wrong.  Then there is the ever-growing online shopping and the question is who does that form of shopping more?  Well studies (do a Google search . . . they're out there) show that men actually shop more online than women and spend more online too.  Ha!  Online shopping is our world!

So the question becomes why?  I love data and information, but this answer is gonna be 'from the hip' and I think most will agree.  The 'why' is really simple . . . shopping for men is a mission and an event for women.  Us guys go to the store to get the thing (whatever it may be) for a reason.  We have the plan which includes the thing (or things if you give us a list), the place to get the thing (with GPS coordinates punched in), we get there and get out fast!  To lolly-gag around a store looking at different stuff and wait in line is a huge waste of time for us.  Plus, strategically, it's a poor defensive position to be in.  It leaves one open to 'running into someone else' and then having to waste more time actually listening to stuff they are going tell us while we pretend to be interested.  Or if we spend too much time out then we have to justify why when we get home and recall every thing did while out as well as everyone we spoke to and what they said.  It's a nightmare.  In fact, those ring-yourself-up checkouts were not put in stores for overall convenience and payroll savings . . . they were designed for men.  If you look into it far enough you'll find the brainstormer behind that one being a guy.  Thanks, dude whoever you are.

So why do men like the internet for shopping?  Think about it, but only for about 30 seconds because there are other more important things to do like watch the game:
  1. Information - Guys love information and data . . . stats if you will.  We can turn shopping online into something along the lines of a watching a game.  Products have specifications and stats that we can use to make better decisions and justify our choices.  We can also use all of those charts, graphs, and stats to pretend we're closing some huge business deal when buying that $150 blu-ray player.  We're savvy like that.
  2. Multi-tasking - I can shop, watch the game, get stats on the game, and chat with others all at the same time.  And in my PJ's no less.  Try doing that out in a store (and in your pj's) and you'll find out it doesn't work out so well.  
  3. Efficiency - We are all about efficiency when it comes to shopping.  It's a mission and missions must be executed with extreme efficiency.  Find the target (the product), get the intel on the target, acquire the package, and get out.  It's that simple.  The internet allows us to do that and in a covert manner. 
  4. The use of equipment - If it doesn't involve equipment, it really is pointless to us.  There's a register, but the cashier won't let us touch it (except for the self-checkout, but really not that much fun).  They even have scanners in the store, but again . . . not allowed to use them.  Computers . . . now that's equipment.  Think about the things we buy . . . stuff we get to put together and can use our tools.  In fact, stuff is made so we can put it together.  It doesn't have to be made that way, but it is.  They could easily put certain parts on a product and easily package it, but they are left off so we can use our screwdriver or the ever-coveted allen wrench. 
Again, for women, shopping is an event.  It is something that is prepped for by getting dressed up, being seen, and socializing while out.  It's competitive too for women.  The competition involves 2 things . . . 1. The number of bags, and 2. The biggest deals on the best stuff.  "Hi Janey.  How have you been?  Oh, all these bags?  I couldn't pass up the great deals I got on these things.  75% off these shoes!  Can you believe it?! Oh, you paid full retail?  You should take them back."  See how it goes?  It's about running into others and socializing.  It's about finding deals while sifting through racks and aisles.  It's about showing off the buys to others.  It's about talking about the whole event.  It's about being waited on.  That's shopping for women.  The internet just doesn't do that.  Sure, women will make a purchase here and there online for some deals and situations but it is not the preferred method of shopping.

So what do you think? 
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