It’s no secret men and women approach many activities in life in varying ways, with an oft-joked-about hobby being shopping. But nowhere are the differences between men and women more pronounced than when it comes to the act of furniture shopping. Furniture retailers take note: how you set up a showroom and display your furniture online makes a huge difference depending on what target audience you’re trying to reach and how it’s going to impact your profit. So stayed tuned for the sequel to Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: Furniture Retail Edition and read on.
Philosophy of Furniture Shopping
According to Social4Retail’s excellent infographic, 74% of women surveyed think about shopping all of the time. Not surprisingly, men prefer to think about beer (25%) and football (25%), while half (50%) think of the expense related to the furniture purchase. Consequently, men have the goal of moving through the purchase cycle as quickly as possible, seeing furniture shopping as a chore and wanting to spend their time on other activities. Of the men surveyed, most view furniture as just a single item and care most about comfort, value and durability. In contrast, women shoppers think of a piece of furniture as a part of the entire room, and value cohesiveness and design the most when selecting the perfect big-ticket item.
Crucial E-Commerce Mistakes to Avoid
For e-commerce, furniture retailers need to keep in mind mistakes that are common among both genders. Two overlapping points that are the most detrimental for both men and women shopping for furniture online are a retailer not having a secure website (54% of women, 49% of men) and forms that are complicated to fill out (47% of women, 41% of men). Furniture retailers that don’t allow customers to add to cart without signing up first receive negative feedback (38% of women, 36% of men). Provided furniture retailers solve for security and ease of use, both men and women will be satisfied.
Online Shopping Features to Embrace
The e-commerce features that are most important to women include customer reviews (57%), as well as detailed product information and clear images (54%). In contrast, men feel the most critical online e-commerce features are product recommendation suggestions (such as “customers also bought” at 48%) and speedy checkout (47%). These findings tie in with the earlier survey numbers which suggest women are most concerned with selecting a highly curated piece of furniture that fits into their home as a lifestyle enhancement, while men just want the shopping process to be as expeditious as possible, whether online or in brick and mortar stores.
So What Is an E-Commerce Furniture Retailer to Do?
In order to drive the most revenue online, furniture retailers should focus on easy wins such as detailed product information and clear images that speak to women and quick checkout for men. In terms of bigger implementations, site security is the biggest concern for both genders, along with ensuring that form fields aren’t tedious to fill out. With a carefully curated selection and a website that allows for quick and easy conversion, online furniture retailers can ensure they always win the battle of the sexes, as well as the battle for greater profit.