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Why Males Are Key to Your Shopper Programs

This past weekend I was at Costco on a busy Saturday morning (I know. Crazy. What was I thinking?) But in the hustle and bustle of getting everything on my list and zipping past others, I witnessed an interesting shopping behavior of a father (roughly mid-40s) and his son (about 6-7 years old).

I had seen them initially, as I approached the refrigerated section.  Ten minutes later, I returned to that section to grab a forgotten item.  Only to find them still there.  They were clearly going down every aisle.  Mind you, I know men love Costco.  But, going down every aisle?  Wow, that’s a manufacturers’ and retailers’ dream!

Regardless of gender, some of us find shopping fun and others find it a chore.  Retailers and manufacturers alike know this and have put forth programs to capitalize on these mindsets.  But often their research is focused solely on the primary household shopper which tends to be female.

With this approach, you may be missing out on key shopper insights from another demographic that spends a lot of time in your store. In other words, what about male shoppers? 

Recently, our Erickson Research team was working on an initiative for an apparel company.  We spoke to men, in detail, about their approach to clothes shopping.

As I listened to these men of various ages speak about their habits, it became clear to me, they are savvy shoppers when it comes to their clothing and style.  They want quality at a good price.

Sound familiar CPGs, mass and grocery retailers?

We have seen how successful tech, alcohol, apparel, and sporting goods categories are at catering to men.  Yet CPG and grocery retailers still struggle to engage the primary male shopper.

In the past few months, I’ve encountered several sources indicating that Dads, specifically, are handling grocery shopping duties these days.  And often they shop differently than their counterparts.  They tend to …

  • walk down every aislegreat news for the center of the store since it tends to be least visited
  • be influenced by in-store promotions  –  likelihood of increased basket size due to “impulse/unplanned” purchases
  • gather info from traditional media, television and printreminding us not to forget to cater to male emotions in these mediums

Keeping these things in mind, what are you doing to engage men as they shop?

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