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Technology and Shopper Anonymization; or, 5personas Meets Omnishopper

Theodore Iacobuzio |

Interesting take on Global Insights’ Omnishopper results recently from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). The paper takes on changes in shopping under the pressure of technology. Its conclusion:  Men are shopping more like women.

Even merchandising managers who don’t agree with that thesis will tell you that men are shopping different from how they used to, for sure.  Money quote: “The web and social media have ‘Transformed the average guy who once shopped for replacement items into an aficionado and maybe even an expert,’” Tom Kalenderian, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s Barneys, told the Journal.

That’s an anecdotal way of summarizing Omnishopper’s findings, which is to say that consumer purchase research—and especially research conducted on a mobile device—is as important as the execution of a transaction, and determines that execution; that research (online) is different from shopping (in the store). That’s a pretty critical distinction, when you think of it. It means that as brands proliferate, it’s the retailer at the wheel.

Another way of saying that men shop like women is to say that technology may have the effect of smoothing over demographic differences. One of the key findings of Global Insights’ 5personas digital privacy work was that certain demographic characteristics (geography, age) mattered less, if at all, online.

In the new world of the Omnishopper, could the same be said for gender? Stay tuned.

Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Payments Strategy, Retail Trends

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