Offline versus online, consistently the channels are being merged – but how different is consumer behaviour between channels? Clear Returns investigate.
A recent study of 2,000 consumers, reported in the Retail Times, found major differences in how men and women prefer to shop in brick and mortar stores. Women not only spend almost five times more per year, but also spend much more time comparing merchandise and trying on clothes. Men, meanwhile, tended to enter the shop on a mission, buy the item and leave, even though they were just as likely as women to consult a salesperson about their purchases.
Women spend 5x more than men and spend more time comparing merchandise
Interestingly, this pattern doesn’t necessarily hold true online. Research by the Clear Returns team shows that men and women behave similarly in the online retail environment, with the majority of shoppers spending similar amounts of money on similar numbers of items regardless of whether it was menswear or womenswear. This may be because many shoppers we interviewed said they found shopping in brick and mortar stores to be a fun day out, while online shopping may be more utilitarian. However this can also be true in reverse. Some shoppers enjoy no more than a browse of their favourite stores online and hit the shops when they are fulfilling a specific, pre-determined need.
Women were 16% more likely to buy extra items with the intent of choosing their favourites and returning the ones they didn’t like
One pattern does hold true, however. Women were 16% more likely to buy extra items with the intent of choosing their favourites and returning the ones they didn’t like. This mirrors the extensive comparison shopping seen in the study of shoppers on high street. Recognising this need can help online retailers adjust their website content to help their customers comparison shop without having to make a purchase and return.