Just as it assists revenue by understanding the spending habits of your customers, it is also equally important to understand your store’s gender mix.
Different than other retail spaces, sports retail shops typically have a greater difference in their gender mix, depending on the sport they endorse. In a golf or skiing environment, typically over one third of the shop traffic will be male, while in tennis the percentage is almost equal, especially with youth players. Compare this to typical brick and mortar retail spaces where women make up over 80% of customer purchases. As online retail sales continue to gain popularity and strength the lines between gender purchases are being blurred, yet in your tradition sports pro shop, shopper mix is mainly reflective of the sport.
It has been long researched and documented (As in John Gray’s book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”) that male and female actions and perspectives have different motivating forces. How each gender views shopping, product research and purchasing is different. Men and women use different parts of their brains in shopping and decision making; while women are better at controlling impulse purchasing, men tend to be more task focused. These differences should not be viewed as negative, yet rather acknowledged and focused on to strengthen your business sales.
For example, look at the male dominated sport of golf – Male shoppers tend to be viewed as more convenience shoppers. If the product is available, displayed, and priced appropriately, the male buyer will often use his task-oriented brain to make the purchase rather than researching the product or prices elsewhere. On the other hand, women with their more impulse control thought patterns, may decline to purchase the item until she has searched all her available options outside your shop.
Additionally, competition and influences from other shoppers plays a role in purchasing decisions. If there is a male foursome spending time in the shop, the goal would be to get at least one of the group to make a purchase. More often than not, the others will feel the competitive instinct and pressure to spend as well. Women rely on trusted endorsements of friends, so word of mouth plays a strong role in the female shopper.
One area where men and women shopping tendencies align is their influence and development of shopping habits. Typically most purchasing is based upon habits rather than rational decision-making. Because of our resistance to change, shopping habits become difficult to break over time. So again, if we can become that trusted shopping experience for our players, we can reap the sales benefits for years to come.
Review your shop’s sport & gender mix and fine-tune your product selection and sales strategies accordingly.
I invite you to learn more about Sterling Grey and our Pro Shop Design services.