Many retailers are wondering, “How can I get more sales from men in my retail store?”
It’s a good question to ask because more data is coming out that "failure to address the idiosyncrasies of gender can have real financial consequences for retailers. Men’s shopping behaviors have been overlooked for far too long.
That renewed interest in the male shopper is evidenced in this excellent display at Macy’s Herald Square, above. It screams - this is for you guys!
Sears, the original men’s store, debuted a laughable logo and slogan, making moments matter, with an upside-down tulip that looked an awful lot like AirBnb’s.
Sears blew up the department store model in the '50s when they figured out that big money could be made by attracting suburban guys to their stores with all manner of appliances, tools, gear, and other things men buy. They were able to learn how to sell to men in an effective way.
Sears had other departments so the whole family could add on and find something but make no mistake, their great contribution to retail was the refinement of the family department store with products that interested men first.
Sales for men were the company’s primary revenue source.
They started to squander that image when they debuted the Softer Side of Sears in the early '90s which diminished and even erased the role of the male shopper.
That stumble reached a climax when the CEO who purchased the company and ran it into bankruptcy sold off or let competitors carry the very brands that led male shoppers to trust them: Craftsman, DieHard, and Kenmore.
Is that because the male shopper had changed?
Well yes, they had but when you see the stats, you realize how Sears and other brands have diluted their merchandising to men and put their money and marketing into price and promotion.
Here are the statistics on male shoppers:
25% of men claim to shop at least 6 times a month at a department store compared to just 15% of women.
Men tend to exhibit urgent buying behavior. This search-and-retrieve habit helps men maintain some of their traditional masculine identity.
44% of men shop in-store to touch and feel a product versus only 33% of women.
42% of men are likely to shop at full-price retailers and only 18% at discount or off-price retailers. This is in stark contrast to only 31% of women who want to shop at full-price stores and 38% who want to shop at off-price or discount stores.
Three things you must be doing to get more sales from men
Men are ready to come to your store and pay full price on the stop. But only happen if you respect their time, keep your store stocked, and be ready to serve them to the fullest when they come.
1. Have a hook
While Saks in New York has a barbershop and coffeehouse, the big draw and retail success is a monthly rotating pop-up shop that features 200 styles of sneakers, 40 of which are Saks exclusives. According to Marc Metrick, President of Saks, footwear is thegateway drug sure to snare male shoppers—and get them to check out the rest of the store.
2. Improve your selling techniques
Men are in a hurry and they trust what associates tell them. But be careful, they are not looking for a person to just pester or bug them. Can I help you with anything?just won’t work on them. They are looking for a person they can trust to help them compare and contrast, to be there at the dressing room when they’re half-dressed to give them options, and ready when something fits to show the same product in variations.
Why? Because men find the perfect fit and then buy in bulk. And because 28% say a lack of responsiveness from associates is their biggest pet peeve when shopping. That’s basically one in three you’ll tick off if you miss this.
If you want to learn how to sell to men, start by just being at their side when they need you.
3. Have more options available to men
Men are looking for more products in person so you need to have more merchandise options on the floor. That’s because men like to buy and take it home with them on that same day.
We’re seeing men are less concerned with price and promotion and more concerned with getting customer service assistance, and for that reason are more brand loyal.
As one of my podcast guests, Greg Petro, with First Insight has said, “Men are less likely to embrace technology disruptors like Amazon, discount retail, and mobile shopping than women. More men prefer to shop in-store at full-price retailers than at discount retailers.”
If you’re still stuck in the price-and-promotion and stack-it-high-and-hope-it-flies realize you are doing just the opposite of what resonates with what data is telling us men value when shopping in-store.
To help you fix that, start with your employees. I can train them in my best retail selling techniques in person or virtually with my online system.