Man Shopping

10 February 2017

I am fortunate enough to be happily married and have four kids, of which two are teenage ladies.  I am therefore qualified to write a small piece about the difference in shopping habits between men and women.  I make no excuses for the generalisations, as I don’t think I have found any exceptions.

I have a requirement for clothes.  I travel the least possible distance to the clothing establishment that is likely to stock my requirement, walk through the door, avoid all eye contact with sales people, pick up something “that’ll do”, maybe try it on, buy it and leave.  The process of shopping is not in my psyche. Why think about it too heavily when a simple answer is right in front of you?

 

My wife, and daughters, clearly have a fundamentally different psyche.  They have a requirement for clothes.  They spend hours, researching the range of garments they could acquire and book out days of time to travel around various establishments that stock their required garments.  They subscribe to magazines (paid advertising), take inspiration from “celebrities” (paid advertising), consult all knowing social media advice gurus (generally biased if not paid advertising).  Once in a general retail area, they enter an establishment and chaotically trawl around the shop, stroking things, talking to shop assistants, looking in the mirror, facetiming their friends, and then leave – with no garment in hand.  This drives me NUTS!!

So, imagine my surprise and delight when a “brokered” shopping experience came along and made my life easy.  Apologies for the blatant plug, but you should all try either Thread.com or The Chapar, (or both! prepare to part with your cash).  They are both addressing the market need for men to buy clothes in the easiest possible way.  I shall explain.

 

You register for The Chapar and your stylist calls you on your mobile;  “Can you tell me a bit about your style, size, look, family life, age, things you would never wear etc?”.  Thread is a similar concept.  It’s a consultancy lead sale for clothes.  3 days later a “trunk” turns up at your house with about 25 items that conform to your requirements.  Within the trunk are a range of brands, styles, colours, items that you would never have seen in the man-shopping original mode.  This box represents about 8 hours of shopping time done for you, arriving in a beautifully aesthetic box without you stepping foot in a shop.  You can return the unwanted goods back to them, leaving you with a load of clothes that fit, work, but also are probably from a broader set than you ever would’ve thought of in the first place.

Why is this relevant?  IT and Telecoms purchases are functional and generally (apologies ladies) done by men (the IT industry is embarrassingly male dominated – I can’t help that).  When an IT or Telecoms supplier is coming up for renewal, or when a need is communicated, shopping around is against the nature of the buyer’s persona.  Despite there being a massive range of alternative options out there, generally people stick to what they know because they are too busy to shop around and don’t fancy trying something / someone new – it presents a risk.

Imagine a service where a consultant engages with you in a dialogue and goes a hunting in the marketplace for you.  Imagine a consultant who will talk to all of the available providers and present a “trunk” of information to you with pros and cons of each.  Imagine a consultant who is quite happy for you to say you don’t like any of them, but is genuinely confident that one of the IT or Telecoms supplier options presented will be the right fit for your business.

This is the Embedded concept played into a consumer analogy.  I can listen to your IT and Telecoms needs in the context of your business, and go and find a supplier that best suits that requirement, from a pool of suppliers you may never had heard ofI actually enjoy it – because it’s not clothes.

There will be no need to sit outside the ladies fitting rooms while I do it, and I’m hopeful I’ll not ask you to try on any red corduroys with yellow socks.  Unless that’s your thing…..

 

 

 

 

 

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