Articles for Retailers - from Kizer & Bender


Men vs. Women on the Sales Floor
by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender
May 23, 2018 eNEWS

This year we will celebrate our 28th year as a speaking team. For 28 years we have discovered daily how men and women do things very differently, especially shopping.

Men shopping versus women shopping studies have been popular for years, most of the findings can be filed under “the same old, same old” category, but there’s a new one from First Insight that’s pretty interesting.

According to the survey, 31 percent of women are more likely to compare prices while in a brick and mortar store, while just 21 percent of men use their mobile devices to compare prices. 67 percent of women check Amazon for products and prices before hitting the shops, compared to 54 percent of men who do the same. And just 22 percent of male respondents reported frequently shopping on mobile devices compared to 40 percent of women. To a guy shopping, being able to touch and feel product is the main reason to shop in a physical store, only as 33 percent of women respondents felt the same.

So what does that mean to you? Show him everything and give him a choice; show her more of a curated selection – the best of the best that’s hand chosen for her by you. She has done the research and she wants more from her in-store experience than just a place to buy “stuff”.

What else makes us different on the sales floor?

♦  Women will visit several stores to get what she wants, men prefer one stop shopping.  She will arrive with her list in hand, one her phone or in her head as enters your front door. If your store doesn’t have what she needs, she’ll find another one that does.

Most of the time a man will know what he wants to buy before he comes to your store. He’ll hit the sales floor with purpose, but his behavior changes when he has to buy a gift for his significant other. This is when your enthusiastic “Welcome to our store!” is generally met with that deer caught in headlights look.

You need to be prepared to recommend items. And while gift cards are always a good idea, don’t recommend them right off the bat. Women are on to the gift card thing. They love the ability to choose their own gift but they sometimes feel that their spouse didn’t put any effort into it. This could be a t-shirt: “I spent hours searching for the perfect gift and all I got was a lousy gift card.” If you do sell a gift card to either sex, make sure it’s packaged in a unique way that represents your store and ads value. Even when it’s valued at $100, a plastic card in a cardboard sleeve just isn’t a whole lot of fun to open.

♦  Women are big impulse shoppers. She’ll not only pick up the item she came in for, but additional items as well, especially when you place them directly in front of her. You know those tables grocery stores place in the main aisles? They’re called Merchandise Outposts and they are designed to encourage shoppers to make impulse purchases.

Men are not big impulse shoppers. That’s why you always find department store aisles dotted with Merchandise Outposts. The product on display is usually a mixture of high profit items that no woman really wants, but hassled male shoppers fall for every time.

Additional places to encourage impulse purchases include the cashwrap, your speed bump displays weekly, and anywhere you can cross-merchandise. Do this and you’ll catch the eye of both male and female shoppers.

♦  Women have no problem asking for help in your store when they need it. With women it’s all about the relationship – she enjoys interacting with your store associates when she has time. When she’s time-starved, she will seek help so she can complete the task at hand and move on to the next one.

Many women say that the "lack of help when needed" is their biggest shopping hassle. This is an easy fix: Make sure that your associates consistently provide the best customer care, acknowledging every, single shopper who crosses their path.

♦  Men are the exact opposite of women in this area: He does not like to ask where things are, and he generally does not like to ask for help. He’s much more likely to read your point-of-purchase materials and product signing. Signs are your “silent sales people” so make sure they are doing their job.

Encourage your associates to greet male shoppers and offer help. But don’t say, “May I help you?” because he will give you the international response to this question: “No-thanks-I’m-just-looking” and keep walking. Instead, ask “What brings you to our store today?” He still may give you an auto-response, but he’s more likely to tell you why he’s there. Remember, your store and what you sell is foreign territory to most men, so give him a break and ask lots of open-ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no) to find out more about who or what he is shopping for.

Yes, men and women are different, but you knew that before you read this post. Just remember that they expect different things from a visit to your store. It’s not always about what they came in to buy; it’s about how they buy it.

Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are professional speakers, retail strategists, authors and consultants whose client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in business. Companies internationally depend upon them for timely advice on consumers and the changing retail market place. KIZER & BENDER’s observations are widely featured in national newspapers, national and international industry and consumer publications, and on radio and television programs across the U.S. You can learn more at