That's the way she shops

That's the way she shops

 It’s official. Men and women shop very differently. But the way women do it, does seems rather smart, reckons Swatee Jog.

It is a universal fact that women love to shop. They shop for a wide variety of things, for diverse reasons, and not just for themselves. As primary caregivers in a family, they shop for groceries, clothes, stationary, medicines, household utility items, toys, books and many such things. 

Given below are generalisations about the differences in the way men and women shop, based on various studies and observations, and I must say, women’s way of shopping does seem rather smart:

Social activity vs. task

Men view shopping as a task; they will shop only for what is essential. Women shop to spend time with friends, to overcome boredom, to socialise, to keep themselves updated about the current market trends in fashion and lifestyle, to feel good about themselves, to gift themselves on special occasions, to purchase gifts for loved ones and so on... 

Uniqueness vs. necessity

Men spend less time in checking varieties of a single product. They are fine with buying something similar to what someone they know has! On the other hand, when women want to buy a saree, they will first recall who has what kind of saree, to avoid repetition. They will ask around for what’s new and where, choose an area which has similar shops, and don’t mind hopping from one shop to another in search of different fabrics, prints, colours, and prices. 

Value vs. pride

Men find it rather ridiculous to cut coupons from newspapers and redeem the discount at shops. Women love that. They are the first ones to spot the advertisements about discounts, free gifts or schemes. They will religiously cut the coupons, mark the addresses from the ads, find time to visit that shop or buy that particular brand in a mall. They will even pester their local store owner if he has not stored that brand. 

Tact vs. haste

Men rarely bargain and even when they do, they give up beyond a point. Women, on the other hand, will bargain by dropping the price first to half and then taking it higher, slowly, if they see the shop keeper is inflexible. At times, they will resort to mockingly walking away and then, turn to check if he calls them back with the deal. 

Prudence vs. speed

Men walk faster in stores and spend less time in the aisles, drooling at items displayed. They pick things faster and check out quickly from the shop. Women read labels, check expiry dates, compare prices of different brands, hold every piece in their hand, touch and feel it (even if it’s a ketchup bottle). 

Virtual realities

It’s no different really when women shop online:

n Women drift to many sites when searching for a certain item. When they want something general like a gift, they spend more time researching before they zero-in on a particular item. 

n Women are tempted to click the ads on social networking sites when they like a piece displayed. Then, the drifting starts. Of course, by the time they have searched the tenth page, they will have forgotten which page they started on. 

n Almost every woman shops using the ‘low to high price’ option, even if she can afford an expensive item. This, just to avoid letting go of the cheaper pieces that may click with her taste.

n Women ask around for referrals. Knowing very well that many other sites will offer the same stuff, women prefer to deal with a tried-and-tested site.

n Women almost always prefer ‘cash on delivery’ (COD) option, since they are, typically, averse to the risks involved in e-payments. And they have no qualms about checking with the call centre in case of delays in delivery.  

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