November 30, 2011

Men vs Women: Shopping

Men and women are different. That should be clear to all people. But it's really interesting to see how both genders take a very different approach to the same thing. Shopping is one example. Generally speaking, women seems to spend more time on shopping than men. Men basically see it as just another thing that needs to be done. To be done as quickly as possible, without a whole lot of fuss, and continue with something else.

Men often already have in mind what they want. Whereas men will pick the first thing that looks acceptable to their needs, women first need to check out everything that's available, even if that means going to different stores. Women will shop around to get the best value at the lowest price. Women will compare prices and check what's on sale. The have to check the fabric, the color, the texture and so on. What they ultimately buy depends on the circumstances at that time. A guy could get a pair of shoes in less than 2 minutes. Most women could not. 

Women place more importance on sales associates. Perhaps it's because asking for help is not seen as very "manly", men will try to find a solution on their own. Asking for help is to be done as a last resort. If they do ask, men want short, direct answers. Such as what aisle can a certain product be found. Men want to be left alone afterwards. Women want sales associates to elaborate and be as talkative as possible. Make some recommendations and show that she has your attention.

Unlike men, women also attach a social aspect to shopping. It can be used to as a way to connect to one another. Whereas women prefer to go out shopping with at least one other person, men really don't care. It is not unusual to see a group of three, four or even more women shop together. The reverse is far less likely. Men don't see it as a way to hang out together.

The amount of time can be flabbergasting and even annoying to men. Unlike men, spending almost the whole day shopping, even if it's just window shopping, can be exciting to women. Perhaps as a way to accommodate women, some of the larger department stores or malls have sections, perhaps at the entrance, with chairs available where the guys can sit and wait, while their spouses go shopping. The opposite is rare. Seldom will you see a guy drop his spouse or girlfriend behind to wait, while he goes shopping.

What men and women are shopping for can also greatly affect their behavior. For example, men are more likely to express interest in power tools than women. So even if women in general tend to spent more time to complete their shopping, in some cases it's the men that would need more time.

All this is speaking in general. Every individual is different. Some women may hate shopping or act more like men when shopping. But as a whole, significant differences can be observed that warrant the conclusion that men and women really are different. Period.

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