Millennium Post

Companies should go extra mile to attract women shoppers: Expert

Kolkata: Companies should go an extra mile to attract lady consumers because shopping today is largely controlled by them, according to the legendary brand expert.
"Women shoppers are considered critical and important too because they buy for the entire family, unlike men who buy only for themselves. The change in shopping pattern is not only gender-specific but also age-specific in countries like India where money is fairly young," Paco Underhill told an assembly of more than 350 executives representing some top companies from across the country at the 16th Brand Conclave organized by CII here on Friday. "We live in a world that has historically been owned by men, designed by men, managed by men, yet women are our most important customers. The changing status of women is changing how we sell what we sell and the recalibration of who we sell what to. Historically, we sold women apparel and cosmetics and now we are selling them cars and electronics and houses etc," he said.
"There are a number of things that govern what has changed in retail. First, globally, the status of women is changing. There are now more women with money in their pockets who are spending on a broader cross section of goods," he said, adding that the online shopping window also has a role to play in evolving purchasing habits.
According to Underhill, shopping is not about how much one spends but about how creatively one spends. "Making customers buy largely depends on your creativity. First, you must know the nuances of shopping and also the customer's psychology," explained the New York native, who authored the famous book titled Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping and What Women Want.
Retail shopping is a mirror of social changes, he said. "Today's retail shops are markedly different from the ones that existed in the 1920s," said the "retail anthropologist and shopping scientist".
"There exists a huge difference in what we say and what we actually do. The social perspective is undergoing a tremendous change. About 80% of the global wealth now is in the hands of people who earn it during their lifetime," he said.
There must be a good marriage of "art and science", he said. "While shopping is an art whereas buying is a science," he said.
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