Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What women want

"We live in a world that is owned by men, designed by men and managed by men - and yet we expect women to be active participants in it"

Legendary shopping guru, Paco Underhill has done it again. A new book, likely to impact marketing and store planning for years to come, has been put on the shelves of book stores around the world. This time, Mr Underhill has focused on the female consumer and her demands and wishes in marketing and buying situation. The rise of the female consumer has been on the lips of marketers for over a decade now but recently, something happened that makes the influence of the female consumer even bigger. In one of his speeches, while launching the book, Mr Underhill says:

“In 2005 we crossed the line. The wealth of the world has always been concentrated at people who own it by heritage, up until 2005 that is. For the first time in history, most of the money are now in the hands of people who created them by themselves. And many of those are women“, also refering to the fact that for the first time, women under 30 had a higher average income that men in the US.

According to the research made by Mr Underhill, women differ from men in several ways in the shopping situation. Above all, there are three things female shoppers appreciate more than men; cleanliness, control, safety and considerateness. And a woman feeling even slightly let down by a male sales person are most likely lost as a customer. Neatness, such as clean toilets are mandatory, as well as restaurant and cafés at the mall, or any other “being-place” where you can rest tired legs and feet. Women trust women more and stores with female customers ought to have a major part of women in their sales force.
On the total, women´s more accentuated demands makes shopping better according to Mr Underhill:

“Creating a female-friendly retail environment does not make It less male-friendly, by walking the female path, you end up making things better for women and men.”o