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Electronic shopping trends

This is an excerpt of a more extensive study aimed toward detecting retail turnover patterns against electronic shopping. Turnover data is obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Observe how the 12-month average correlation between men’s clothing and electronic shopping changes from 78.4% November 1994 to 18.9% March 2010 while women’s clothing only changes from 66.3% to 64.0% durng the same period. This suggests that the web framework (or web stores) operated by clothing retailers and leading fashion designers are missing the male market almost completely.

The male less female clothing correlation November 1994 was 12.1% but as of March 2010 has dropped to -45.1% and continues downward. This could very well translate to considerable loss of revenue. A study of the actual webs themselves reveals a structure that caters more to the female market than male and that an alternative ought to be considered to attract the male target audience. A key element is speed.

Observationally men are hunters; women are gatherers in all areas of life.  This includes shopping.  Most men want to get what they need and leave.  Women enjoy the search (gathering of info).  This is probably true when shopping on-line because it definitely plays out in store front shopping.” Diane Harris, D. M. Harris Associates

81% of women have visited a superstore website in the past month, 70% visited a food/beverage brand website and 69% visited a health/beauty brand website.” Paul Chaney, Practical E-Commerce

In November 1994, unadjusted electronic shopping turnover measured $ 3,062 million; in March 2010 it has risen to $ 21,950 which is a seven-fold increase. During this period, men’s clothing generated a turnover of $ 696 to $ 635 (a drop!) whereas women’s clothing sales increased from $ 2,125 to $ 3,176.

Sharp contrast can be seen between men’s clothing against building supplies (correlation starts at 7.9% and ends at 80.6%) and user car dealer turnover (correlation starts at -21.0% and ends at 80.5%). In November 1994, unadjusted building supplies turnover measured $ 7,758 million; in March 2010 it has risen to $ 19,676. Used car dealers have more than tripled their turnover during the same period, or from $ 2,075 to $ 6,595. Then why does men’s clothing drop?

A close examination of the online sales channels catering to that target market reveals the likely reasons. There are also elements of customer retention missing that could be introduced to encourage increased male shopping. Failing to capture this market has direct impact on the retailers’ / fashion designers’ bottom-line and must be addressed.

Methodology: Running correlation is generated from monthly, unadjusted turnover data from January 1993 and then brought to 12-month moving average blocks to smooth out the lines (removal of jagged edges). This is why the correlations shown on the charts begin November 1994. All correlations are against electronic shopping series.

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