New York, NY—Data collected by The Future of Commerce and hybris software reveals that gender differences don’t have much effect when shopping. The Myth of the Mansumer study found that when evaluating the shopping experience, the differences between men and women are virtually nonexistent. The study surveyed more than 1,700 consumers.
“Thanks to online shopping and retailers taking an omni-channel approach, technology appears to be bringing the era of the ‘Mansumer’ to a close just a few short years after the term was coined for the first time in 2012,” the report states.
Pivotal findings reveal that when shopping in-store, both genders agree that long checkout lines hinder their enjoyment. Nearly 40% said that waiting to check out is their biggest complaint and unhelpful sales associates add to their dissatisfaction. According to the research, arming sales staff with technology and product knowledge goes a long way toward improving the experience.
- Almost 52% of consumers are more likely to shop at stores where employees are equipped with tablets or mobile devices.
- 55% prefer self-checkout.
“We found that most complaints consumers have about shopping online and in-store could be resolved with the right commerce technology,” said Stefan Schmidt, vice president of product strategy at hybris. “In-store technology like tablets and mobile checkout options can shorten waiting time. And they could equip associates with the tools they need to efficiently serve their customers. E-commerce technology, like click-and-collect, can be a solution for customers that are not interested in waiting for delivery.”
Recent shopping trends tell us consumers want to check online to see if an item is available before shopping. But most brands aren’t equipped to do that. According to the Mansumer study, “Limited inventory is a cause of dissatisfaction for 17% of all shoppers across both genders. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again now: omni-channel matters.”
In contrast to the in-store experience, 34% of men and women believe their customer-service experience with online retailers has improved in the last three years. And more than 50% said they shop more frequently today than they did 12 months ago and that they prefer to purchase books, movies and electronics online.
Despite the prevalence of online shopping, the Internet offers its own challenges for both genders. Both men and women cited the following concerns in the study:
- 22% of shoppers cite slow delivery as an issue.
- 20% have security concerns.
- 16.7% find retailer websites slow or difficult to navigate.
Mansumer Study Shows Similar but Different
While men and women share similar thoughts about shopping online and customer service in-store, the study found some differences between the genders when it comes to shopping behavior.
“Women are more likely to be influenced by social media prior to making a purchase than men, and men are more likely to expect a sales associate to be able to assist with requests, both in-store and online. Men are also more likely than women to do significant research prior to making a purchase.”
Overall, the Mansumer study found that men and women have increasingly high expectations involving customer experience. The takeaway: brands that want to engage both genders should:
- Make it easy to get information about brands, products and purchases both online and in-store, via sales associates and technology.
- Stop looking at stereotypical gender differences and instead mine data to create a unique, one-to-one relationship with each consumer.
- Offer the same high-quality and consistent experience across all channels.