The Female Shopper
By Fairy Dharawat
There are many different types of shopper, but all that comes later. Let’s try to understand the primary shoppers, who are male and female shoppers. It is tough to gauge responses from shoppers when they show confusing patterns of purchases. So as a female shopper, I thought, why not write what female shopper really wants, one female at a time.
Search for the words female shopper and you will get many links that connect to various studies and research. As human behaviour is subject to change, the patterns and influencing factors also changed with the changing market.
I like to do my research before going shopping. I am not alone in this new trend where women are making an effort to look first online for what they want. The internet has been a boon and people are using it to its full potential.
If I am shopping for a hand wash or sanitizer or even a makeup item, I will log in to my computer to go online. Then I can go through their site, read some of the ingredients and customer feedback, before I make the journey to the store. Now do you see just how hard it became to influence a shopper? Previously all they had to do was get a purse and call a cab to the new shopping mall. Female shoppers are getting smarter so they are not left behind. They check things out before they even go to the store.
The brand now has to try to stay close to the customer or potential customer and try to understand them. The brand must be close to consumer and so must the product. Word of mouth and brand reputation is important. The consumer perception of the brand can be enhanced through email, social media, point of sale and all possible points of contact with the consumer. The product must be good and well researched. The customer ultimately must actually want the product. People like to share information and if they really want your product, as well as need the product, they will tell their friends. Women in particular like to talk about the products they buy.
The other important thing one can consider for me and many other female shopper is; cleanliness. Yes it sounds strange, but this is an important indicator of what you really are trying to sell. Are you serious enough to be careful to keep your floors and wash room clean? Do you really value your shoppers? If your place is not clean, then customers will perceive your store and products as unclean. Unclean is bad and customers won’t come back again.
Female shoppers want a pleasant experience when shopping, clean bathrooms. Clean lines and a hygienic look. They want to see what they are buying and so lighting is important. The use of colour can reflect light and make a store appear light and airy. The female shopper also wants to feel good about her self and so staff training is important. In American stores they are trained to be nice to customers and say ‘have a nice day’. It might be better to avoid clichés, but staff can be trained to engage customers in conversation and ask how they are. Friendly service will make the customer want to return to the store. Help with choosing products or packing bags means the store is competing against other stores on service as well as price. Even the way staff are dressed is important, they should appear clean and smart, but not intimidating. Smart-casual is more engaging in many stores than being formally dressed. The staff should also be identifiable and so the use of name badges is a good idea. The customer can see the staff member’s name and has the option to address them by name. The slogan used by Tesco is ‘every little helps’. When engaging with customers, every little does help. Men often want fast service; women tend to want personal service.