John Gray’s 1992 book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus confirmed what men and women have always known: The two sexes differ in their perspectives, motives, rationales, and actions. Even though the reason for the differences (nature or nurture) continues to be debated, study after study reflects similar results, and sophisticated companies have adapted their customer outreach programs to account for these differences. Everything from advertising style, message, and media, to product design, store layout, sales training, and customer service policies are designed to appeal specifically to both sexes.
The goal of every retailer is to:
- Lure shoppers
- Make them stay in the store longer
- Influence their buying decisions
- Turn them into return customers
Failure to address the idiosyncrasies of gender can have real financial consequence for retailers. In a New York Times article published on February 16, 2012, Eric Siegel, a consultant and chairman of the Predictive Analytics World conference, stated, “We’re living through a golden age of behavioral research. It’s amazing how much we can figure out about how people think now.”
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