Are there differences when buying between men and women?
It seems that all companies agree that there are differences when buying between women and men. At present we live in a society in which consumption is the order of the day, in such a way that each company struggles to be chosen to satisfy the needs and desires of the consumer, thereby increasing its profits. Thus, companies group and categorize potential buyers to find out what strategies to employ depending on who they want to convince to purchase their products.
This process gives rise to what is known as market segmentation , where the resulting set of consumers ( target or target audience ) have similar needs and interests, responding in a similar way to marketing strategies. Although there are numerous criteria to segment the market, one of the ones that has been gaining strength in recent years is segmentation by gender, since it is known that the perception and aspirations of each sex are different, which is reflected in a different buying behavior.
Why are the perceptions and aspirations of each sex different?
The reason why perception (the biological) and education (the cultural) between both sexes was developing differently is the evolution of the species . At the beginning of human society, women were in charge of caring for children and the sick, and their main function was to procreate, so they learned to capture the emotions printed in body language.
In addition, the women had to collect grains and fruits, selecting the best companion by virtue of the success of their hunt. For their part, men faced other predators for food and territory, being in their tribe based on their hunting ability. They chose their partner to procreate based on their physical characteristics (wide hips, large breasts, etc.).
Obviously, these differentiated behaviors aimed at survival were evolving, becoming impregnated in the human genetic code .
How has the consumer’s brain been shown to function differently depending on gender?
These differences in perception have been analyzed with the help of neuromarketing (convergence between neuroscience and marketing). This discipline investigates the brain processes that allow us to know the reason for the behavior and decision-making of buyers.
In this way, neuromarketing makes every effort to make the person choose the decision to buy their product quickly and comfortably, making them believe that they have taken it according to rational criteria. In reality, the consumer makes 85-95% of their decisions irrationally, justifying their choice according to the information available to them through neurobiological processing, without becoming aware of it.
In fact, it has been found that the brain only allows the passage of approximately 1% of the information from its environment , requiring only two and a half seconds to make a decision where the information taken into account has been previously filtered according to the Personal and cultural values that facilitate and allow information to be processed without ending up overflowing the mental processing capacity of the person involved.
What are the perceptual differences between men and women?
The sense of sight.
Women have been found to have wider peripheral vision than men. In addition, women are also able to define with greater precision and detail everything that they see and they look better up close .
Men, on the contrary, need to concentrate to see a single object, since they focus in the distance. Likewise, it has been proven that women are able to visually understand several messages at the same time, while men have to focus on the message ( a single message ) that is transmitted to them in order to understand it. In addition, women distinguish more colors. In any case, sight is the sense that guides men the most .
On the other hand, touch is a sense that women use more , since manifest actions of affection are more common in women than in male communicational language.
For their part, men tend to make purchasing decisions using this sense less by linking this touch system with sexual themes .
It should be noted that hearing is the sense that most guides women . Likewise, men use half the daily vocabulary of women (they use around 7,000 words a day).
Perhaps this is because they focus on detail and talking lowers their stress level. On the contrary, the man keeps quiet when he feels stressed.
Regarding the sense of taste, men distinguish salty and sour flavors more, while women distinguish sweet taste more .
And also in the sense of smell there are differences between men and women . For example, one study showed that more “feminine” scents (eg vanilla) increased sales of womenswear, as did men if masculine scents were applied (eg Rose Maroc).
How is female purchasing behavior different from male?
A good summary of gender differences in consumer behavior would be the famous phrase coined by Baker: ” Men shop, women shop .” This refers to the fact that men buy quickly, as they have a clear and urgent objective. However, women are more forward-looking and plan their purchases by prioritizing their needs beforehand.
That is why women can and prefer to take their time to gather information about products. They like having different options and being able to try new things. In this sense, it can be affirmed that women make their decisions based on the opinions of others, understanding purchases in a more social way, even going so far as to regulate their own emotions through this activity.
Men, on the other hand, only seek to acquire the product that interests them. To do this, they follow a more logical and linear reasoning, less impulsive than women, making decisions more quickly than women and alone.
What do men and women value most in a product?
Prices and brands.
Since men are pragmatic and seek to purchase those products that they urgently need, they often opt for a well-known product. They look for what they know is going to fulfill its function correctly, which makes them loyal to the brands . This way, they don’t have to waste time wandering the store and gathering information on new products or bargains.
In contrast, women value the experience and emotions related to the product and its purchase more than the usefulness of the product itself.
In addition, they attach greater importance to the price and compare them. For example, if a woman is looking for pants, she will not mind that they are not from the same brand that she usually buys. You will prefer to bet on those that have a better price, even at the risk that they may end up giving you a worse result.
On the contrary, men prefer to go to traditional stores to find recognized brands, even at the cost of having to pay more. This is because, in general, money is not a determining variable in the male buying process, since they focus more on the product as such.
Characteristics and colors of the products.
On the other hand, women tend to pay more attention to the characteristics of the products , since they have more developed skills related to verbal and non-verbal language; on the contrary, men pay greater attention to images related to the product, since they have greater spatial and problem-solving skills.
Likewise, it should be noted that men – unlike what happens to women – value movement (the possibility of rotating images) and the size of the images more than the colors and quality of the images.
Regarding the colors of the products , it has been found that women associate positive emotions with the colors red, pink and white. Men, in turn, associate those same emotions with the colors blue, green, gray and black.
When it comes to negative emotions, women associate them with the colors gray, yellow, blue and green. Instead, men associate them with the colors orange and red.
Do both genders receive differential treatment in the same store?
After having seen the differences between the two sexes and their perception of purchases, the treatment of consumers may be different insofar as each one has generally different needs and preferences . Without going any further, different studies have collected that women expect the store clerk to advise them. They get upset when they feel like they are pestering the workers.
For their part, men only want the salesperson to locate the product they are looking for and to charge them promptly. In case the clerk does not look at what has been requested, the men will leave.
Likewise, it must be taken into account that women find different issues highly annoying: for example, whether there is a line to pay, there is no product in stock or there is no parking. All this is not a problem that they are not willing to take on without getting as upset as when they feel like they are pestering a clerk. In addition, women require that the purchased product has some type of guarantee , while men do not give as much importance to this issue.
The curious influence of the menstrual cycle on female shopping behavior.
Notably, during the ten days leading up to their menstrual cycle, women have a greater drive to go shopping. This is because their hormonal behavior generates negative feelings, so they tend to spend more money. This strengthens your self-esteem by generating dopamine.
In addition, during the period, women tend to wear sexier clothes unconsciously to overcome the female competition of their local environment (the real and close, not the ideal or from another city), as well as to be less influenced by the mens. This implies that five or six days a month, women are more likely to buy products or services that improve their physical appearance (for example: fashion, cosmetics, medical procedures, etc.).
Is there a third gender in which to group some other group of buyers?
At present, it is beginning to investigate the psychographic variables (purchasing power and behaviors) that define the preferences of a new target: LGBTI groups (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex). Obviously, this is a complicated segmentation , among other things due to prejudices and social paradigms. However, it is a very large group as well as profitable, since it is estimated that homosexuals spend between 10-15% more than a heterosexual person.
On the other hand, gays have been found to be highly loyal to brands . However, today, the marketing for this group – known as Pink Market – is too homogenized, since there may be gay men with a buying profile closer to the male or more similar to the female, but does this group consume in a similar way? different from the rest? And, if so, what are the marketing strategies used for each gender and how does this group differ? We will answer these and other questions in subsequent blog posts.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.