While men and women share similar thoughts about shopping online and customer service in-store, the study found small differences between the genders when it comes to shopping behaviour:
  • 66.7% of women are more likely than men to care about being able to buy products online and return them in-store.
  • Women are more likely to be swayed by social media before buying than men.
  • More men than women expect a sales person to be able to help, both in-store and online.
  • 26.4% of women will spend 30 minutes or more on research as opposed to a slightly larger 32.1% of men.
Overall, the Mansumer findings highlighted women (as well as men) have growing demands with regard to the customer experience. The main outcome is that, instead of focusing on marketing to women in different ways, marketers should make it easy for both genders to "get information about brands, products and purchases both online and in-store, via sales associates and technology".

In an article titled Gender Targeting: The Differences between Men and Women, Richard Johnson writes about the physiological differences in the decision-making processes between women and men. Johnson talks about designing an e-commerce site targeting women. He believes site design, specifically for women, should be as follows:
  • Messages should be descriptive, using disclaimers and softer words.
  • Site design must end in such a way that it gives the feeling that you understand women and that you will support them.
  • It should provide women the ability to connect and converse in order to make a same-day sale.
  • The site must utilise Facebook for Business or some other messaging solution to engage female visitors in real-time.
Men tend not to buy into products that are also targeted at women. This is little to do with the differences between the sexes but rather an effect of gender stereotypes. Unfortunately, men are influenced by a long history of female discrimination.

Clearly, there are two schools of thought when it comes to how women shop. Search Engine Optimisation and e-commerce specialists like Johnson make the differentiations seen above, while others believe we should be moving towards a gender-neutral way of selling.

The good news is that women and men want the see the same improvements made to their shopping experience.

  • 39% of women and men identified long lines at checkout are their biggest complaint about bricks-and-mortar shopping.
  • 21% found unhelpful sales people the biggest turn off.
  • 52% of women and men are more likely to shop at stores where employees use devices to speed checkout and look up information.
  • 22% of women and men sited slow delivery as their major online complaint.
  • 20% were worries about security online.
  • 16.7% were put off by slow or difficult to navigate websites.
GenZ females are set to outnumber their millennial counterparts in numbers and sales power. How they shop is a blueprint for the future of retail. Here are important highlights on the stats of GenZ women shoppers from Business Insider earlier this year:
  • 64.3% Gen Z females have purchased clothing from Amazon in the past six months.
  • 59.1% of Gen Z females are likely to consider buying off-brand/generic goods.
  • 47.5% of Gen Z females value 'free and fast shipping' as their number one reason for buying clothing.
Looking at the statistics, it would be fair to say moving away from gender stereotypes is one key to sustaining business with the upcoming generation of women shoppers.

Some brands have already begun to embody this as Entrepreneur reports:
  • Make-up brand CoverGirl appointed 20-year-old United States Internet star James Charles as the brand's first male ambassador.
  • UK based chain of stores John Lewis has already removed all gender-specific labels for their children's section.
  • Barbie has introduced boys in their advertisements to ensure male children who relate to Barbie as normal.
Gen Z and (even more so) Alpha Gen consumers will be fluid in the way they shop and gender-based retail generalisations will fall away.

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*Image courtesy of Freepik