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Shopping behaviors between men and women Essay


Going shopping is a major source of relaxation when it is for clothes, shoes and handbags. But house shopping is to me a household chore. Linked with females, household shopping is an activity that normally puts pressure on you due to time constraints. In my paper, I try to explain my reasoning for loving to shop. I also touch a little on the statistics on shopping between men and women, the amount of time women shop throughout their lives. Based the statistics it illustrates the difference on how men and women shop, be it online or in an actual store. “Although men are playing a significant role in shopping activities, particularly shopping for household groceries, shopping remains a gendered activity but it is not a pleasure less activity. Emeralinsight.com concludes “that the supermarket is likely to be the retail setting where the changing roles will make the greatest impact”. To me meaning that men would rather go grocery shopping than mall shopping with their significant other or even themselves.


Growing up as a young girl I was exposed to many people who loved to shop. My mother and one of my aunts were the two biggest influences when it came to dressing. As the young child my mother dressed me very well. However when my parents divorced when I was 12 years old and we were now down to one income, my mother could no longer afford to buy me clothes the way that she and I had been accustomed to. Then as a teenager in junior high and high school, it was my girlfriends and schoolmates. My girlfriends and schoolmates were dressing the way that I would have liked to and was able to do when my parents were together. During junior high and high school they were able to go shopping every other week when their parents go paid but I was unable to do so. I was only able to go shopping at the end of the summer before school started, a few pieces for Christmas or for my birthday.

During this time I felt so much different from all the other girls. I didn’t dress bad, but I just wasn’t able to shop and get the clothes that I wanted and also couldn’t keep up with, at that time was the “Joneses”. So my preferences entail something that I like. What do I like? There a many things that I like but my most favorite thing is to SHOP! Shop, shop, shop, shop! I just love to shop. However, I must say my shopping fetish is for clothes, shoes, and handbags. Yes, I shop for the house; groceries, things to decorate the house but those I do because I have to keep my house in order and everyone has to eat. So you could say that doing that shopping is done because I have to do it, because these are the necessities. With clothes, shoes, and handbags, yes we do need these things but for me I shop for these items because I love them. I get a rush when shopping. I can say that I am probably at my peak of happiness when shopping.

Shopping to me is very therapeutic and it seems to relieve the stress that I may have at that moment. This is what is called retail therapy. Shopping for these items is my passion. To me shopping for these items is what a drug is to a junkie. However, I do not get depressed or go through any type of withdrawal when I can’t shop. Actually, I really have enough shoes, about 200 pair, enough clothes to the point where I really don’t have to wear anything twice unless I choose to and I have pocketbooks to match everything. I have clothes, shoes and handbags that I have had for years that still have the tags on them and that have never been worn or carried. Macy’s is one of if not the largest department store around and probably has been around the longest and is my favorite They have everything to accommodate you to put together a complete outfit for any occasion. This may be why Macy’s is my most favorite store to shop at.

My shopping at Macy’s is so bad that there is a particular Macy’s that I used to frequent never getting past the shoe department; the sales lady new my husband and I by our names. She became my own personal shoe salesperson. She could find anything that you wanted. An example of that would be when Macy’s has a clearance sale and they’ll have shoes on a rack and tell you that that’s the only or last pair they have, this particular saleswoman was always able to find my size. Because of this it will be nothing for me to walk out of Macy’s with five or six pairs of shoes at one time. When, I originally started out with the intent on purchasing one pair of shoes, for a special occasion. When men go out to shop they go directly where they want to go and get exactly what they went in there for and they are out. Unlike women we have to look around, go to different stores and of course purchase more than what we originally went for. According to rollingsd.com, women and men shop totally different.

They done a statistical study and this is what they came up with. “The mission was to go to the GAP and buy a pair pants. This mission led him to write “Scary Statistics on Women and Shopping”. Again the mission begins where both are going out to purchase a pair pants; his rationale from my perspective is very true. A man will say he’s going to buy a pair pants at the GAP and he will go directly to the GAP and purchase the pair of pants and it “took the man six minutes to buy the pants costing him $33”. Whereas on the other hand the woman went to “several different stores taking her three hours and 24 minutes to shop and she spent $876”. Below I have included his table on the statistics of women and shopping. Along with his statements on how he feels about women and shopping with his break down of the hours/time women will use in their life time shopping.(1)

“I get it….women love to shop; it goes hand in hand with changing into 10 different outfits, being late for everything and bitchin’ about everything. So without further ado, I give you 10 scary statistics on female shoppers that will make men cringe”. 1) Women will spend more than eight years of their lives shopping.

2) During the perusal of retail therapy, women will shop for 25,184 hours and 53 minutes over 63 yrs.

3) Women will make an average of 90 dedicated trips per year to keep up with their appearances. Shopping for clothes 30 times, shoes 15 times, accessories 18 times and toiletries 27 times.

4) A total of 100 hours and 48 minutes is spent shopping for the latest fashions and bargains.

5) Even shopping for the basic feminine hygiene such as deodorant, shower gel, and razors take women an astounding 17 hours and 33 minutes over one year.

6) It gets better. Polls also show that women go window shopping 51 times a year, spending 48 hours and 51 minutes just looking for their next purchase.

7) Another 19 trips, or 36 hours and 17 minutes are used to buy gifts for friends and family.

8) Another 40 hours and 30 minutes is spent shopping for footwear, and 29 hours and 31 minutes looking for accessories such as handbags, jewelry and scarves.

9) If the average shopping trip were to last a full working day 9-5, that would translate to 3,148 days walking around the shops, or just over 8 ½ years!

10) Men shop as ‘Hunters’, women shop as ‘Gatherers’. A woman will buy with the purpose of collecting where a man will be with the purpose of fixing. “As much as I hate to say it…there’s no way around this guys. Women take a more emotional approach to shopping vs. their male counterpart. Women are much more about the engagement and relationship involved with shopping. Whereas men are more about completing the task and getting it done as quickly and easily as possible. The added bonus would be if there is beer sold near where they are shopping ever better. ~Cpt. Harris. (1)

Today you really don’t have to leave your house. Online shopping has become so popular that even men spend quite a bit of time shopping. “The early days of online shopping were actually quite male-oriented as the selection of products was limited to computers, software, music, and consumer electronics. As tools for product and price comparison (the ability to do this without having to visit physical stores is particularly attractive to men) became available, males became even more enthusiastic about ecommerce”.(2) In the beginning online shopping was not for me. When shopping online you really don’t know what you are really getting. You don’t know if it will fit, if the quality is good, if it looks the same as sit does in the picture or if you are even going to get the correct item.

As a military wife when I was stationed in Japan for 3 years I got deeply involved with online shopping. I shopped out of Spiegel’s catalog as my number1choice, Essence, Learners, and Newport News. As stated earlier, it is said that men now do the majority or all of their shopping online. “Practical Ecommerce states that men and women have different approaches to shopping online”. (3) However, where in my case I would use different websites and catalogs to determine what it was I wanted or was going to get but again Practical Ecommerce states that “Men tend to stick to their mission when shopping online, while women expand the undertaking by wandering among products and categories, according to a survey by Empathica, a customer experience consultancy”. They also said that the other Empathica findings include: 1) Males and females differ in how they utilize a product page. Males intensely research the page, viewing all the product details and pictures, while women quickly scan the product page and go to the next product they want. 2) Males tend to search by product while females search by brand. 3) Fifty-four percent of men browse the Web every few days for shopping research purposes compared to 47 percent of women. (4) “Retail therapy or routine errands”?

Again, for me shopping for clothes, shoes and handbags is soothing and relieves any stress I may be encountering at that particular time. I’d rather shop for me than those items needed for the house. When shopping for the house to me feels more like I am doing chores. I know that these things have to be had and there is a responsibility to get them. Shopping for the home can be stressful because you have to be sure that you get everything that is needed for the house. While on the other hand shopping and purchasing for me is relaxing and helps me to relieve some stress. In closing, I think I can say that I tie my shopping habits into the cognitive psychology.

I say this because according to the textbook “cognitive psychology investigates all aspects of cognition, including memory, thinking, reasoning, language, and decision making”. Earlier in my paper I said that I remember how my mother and aunt dressed as well as the way my mother dressed me, which involves my perception and my memory and portion, the decision making comes into play because I do decide what I buy and how much of it I buy. Then the thinking and reasoning becomes hard for me because I will be thinking and trying to reason with myself….do I really need this and what is the husband going to say? In any case, no matter what I love shopping!!!


Baron, R. A. & Kalsher, M.J. (2008). PSY 105: Introduction To Psychology: Third custom edition (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon (Pearson) Behavioral Differences Between Men and Women Influence Shopping (2013-Aug-07) retrieved from www.practialecomerce.com Cpt. Harris. (2013, Aug). Scary Statistics on Women and Shopping retrieved from rollingsd.com/scary-statistics-on-women-and-shopping Ruby Roy Dholakia, (Ruby Roy Dholakia is Professor of Marketing at the College of Business
Administration, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA) (1999) Going shopping: key determinants of shopping behaviors and motivations [Abstract] International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 27 Iss: 4, pp.154 – 165, doi:10.1108/09590559910268499 (Permanent URL) The Sexes Have Different Priorities When Walking Down the Aisles: ‘Men Buy, Women Shop’ [email protected] (2007 Nov 28) retrieved from http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=184 www.macys.com

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