Welcome to the the Ivey HBA Retail Marketing Management blog. Retail marketing is an exciting, dynamic, important, and very visible aspect of the overall field of marketing. Throughout the year, students will be posting comments regarding contemporary retailing issues. Although this is intended to be used by Bus 4411 students, industry marketing professionals are also invited to join in if they like.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Why Men are Better Shoppers

In our most recent class we debated whether women or men are better shoppers. It is widely believed that women are better shoppers than men. Most people seem to think that because women enjoy shopping more than men, they must be better shoppers. In my opinion, however, this could not be further from the truth. While I may be stereotyping or generalizing, I am simply writing about my experiences.

There are two reasons why I believe men are better shoppers. First, men are more effective shoppers. You may be wondering what it means to be an effective shopper. I believe that effective shoppers buy only what they need, and maximize the value of their purchases. In my experience with female shoppers, they don’t meet either of these criteria. When a woman goes into a mall because she needs a new pair of jeans, there is a pretty good chance that she will return home with three shirts, a purse and a pair of shoes; but no jeans. Plus, she already has five other shirts that look exactly the same. As a result, she will end up wearing her new shirt once and then bury it in her closet. Clearly, she is not maximizing the value of her purchase.

On the other hand, if a man goes into a mall because he needs jeans, there is no way he is leaving that mall without a pair of jeans in his hand. Not only will he buy the jeans, but he will wear the jeans as many times as possible. Furthermore, he won’t walk out of the mall with five other things that he doesn’t really need and will only wear once or twice. Clearly, based on the descriptions that I’ve given, men are more effective shoppers.

Not only are men more effective shoppers, they are also more efficient. I define an efficient shopper as someone who shops effectively while minimizing the time spent shopping. This means that an efficient shopper buys what they need, maximizes value from their purchase and does so in as little time as possible. From my experiences, when a woman walks into a mall, it will be at least a few hours until she leaves. Even if she finds what she wants in 10 minutes, there is no way she is leaving that mall within a couple of hours. Guys, on the other hand, do not waste any time. When a man finds what he is looking for, he is content to make the purchase and return home.

I will admit that in some ways, women are better shoppers than men. For example, men are often very lazy. As a result, they will sometimes buy the first thing that they see simply because they don’t want to look around anymore. This laziness can lead to men purchasing the wrong item or buying something that doesn’t fit. Another area where women have the upper hand is that they are more willing to talk to salespeople. It is often very important to talk to salespeople to get valuable information about certain products. By refusing to ask salespeople for help, men may not make the best purchasing decisions.

While women do have some positive shopping qualities, they are not as effective or efficient in their shopping as men. I think the best case scenario is for a man and a woman to go shopping together. The woman will ensure that they talk to salespeople and take sufficient time to buy the proper items. The man will insist that they only buy what they need and that they get out of the mall as soon as possible. Together they will be a much better shopper than either one would be on their own.

1) http://www.articlearchives.com/retail-wholesale-trade/retailers/1845590-1.html

2) http://www.brunel.ac.uk/news/pressoffice/pressreleases/2005/cdata/september/savannah

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