8 things that e-tailers should know

Greetings!  I’m Mark Micheau, manager of research and translation services at www.sterlingcreations.ca.
Today, I would like to share a very interesting article with you that talks about some of the most important things that e-tailers should know when it comes to the shopping habits of their consumers.
Please read on to learn more.
I wish you a great day.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
The following is based on research, not sexism or prejudice of any kind. Conclusions are by nature overly general, and there are many exceptions to the following “rules” of masculine and feminine behavior. Quite simply, there really are general and stark differences in the behaviors men and women, but this fact should never be used for discrimination or other types of abuse. Also, in the following, jokes and wisecracks abound. The author apologizes in advance if you don’t find him funny and reminds you they’re only jokes. Have some keen demographic insight? Tell us.

Do you know the main demographic using your website? Is it meant to attract women, men, or both? If targeted toward a specific sex, there are some things you might need to know about how men and women use websites and approach the buying process. So take the following information, gleaned from studies and surveys, and apply it how you think best.
1. Men want to complete the task and get on to the next task. Women want to experience the task. Guys, I know that sounds stupid, like forming a relationship with pain, but this is why women are good at taking care of you. Generally, they seem to be more thorough, which is why she’s never ready when you’re jingling your keys at the door and why you might survive getting stuck in a blizzard once you finally get out the door. (That’s a poor example. She’ll likely know there’s a blizzard coming and will protest leaving at all. Men believe they will defeat the blizzard. Women, I know this sounds stupid, but this is why men are good at killing mammoths, and why they’re good at protecting you. In the end, it’s all about taking down the beast.)
2. On the Web, both genders agree that ease of use is the most important aspect of usability. Pose as a visitor. How easy it is to upload/download/view/purchase? However, men prize download speed over easy navigation, while women place both easy navigation and accessibility ahead of download speed. Customization was the least important to both.
3. Women are more holistic when shopping. They want to see and weigh all the options, want to be advised, and want to take their time making a decision. One explanation of this is that women tend to think more long term about their purchases: Will this still work in six months? Will I be able to wear this next year?
4. Men want to get in, buy it, get out. They don’t want help unless it involves help at the checkout to speed their exit. They think of immediate need more than long-term need. It’s a very simple thought process: I want to grill some meat. My grill is old and doesn’t cook meat well anymore. I need a new grill to cook meat with, one that makes it easier to cook meat than this old one. I’ll buy a new grill, take it home, grill some meat. Meat grilling problem solved. Women want to know if the grill is easy to clean, if the buttons still work when summer rolls around again, if it looks good in the yard, if you can steam vegetables in it.
5. Men like coupons because it narrows the choices and provides clear-cut incentive to buy one particular thing they can go in, buy, and get out with. (Think: There is animal. Animal is dead. Now go home, show female, eat animal.)
6. Women prefer sales for exactly the opposite reasons. Sales present many options with many different benefits to many different people other than the woman shopping and the right product is its own reward. They form relationships with the products and then decide which relationship works out best. (Think: There are lots of different berries, nuts, herbs. Some are poisonous. Some make the baby sick. Some go bad quickly. Some are at the top of the mountain and are dangerous to get. Some cost a goat. But this one is good for everybody, is safe to eat and gather, doesn’t cost a goat, and will last through winter.)
What types of promotions have worked best for you? Comment.
7. When it comes to photos, women focus on faces and pay special attention to pictures of couples entwined. Men, as in real life, focus on, well, other parts and don’t give any special attention to couples. Depending on hormone levels, though, women may also focus on, well, other parts.
8. Here’s something men and women generally agree on: the color blue. In one survey, 42 percent of people (35 percent of women, 57 percent of men) listed blue as their favorite color. Women’s other favorite color was purple, which actually factored significantly on men’s least favorite color list, right up there with brown and orange, the least favorite colors of everyone. In a fascinating twist, people seem to like more blue and less green as they get older. Green seems to be a young person’s color.
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About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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