Male customers need investment too, Martin Newman
There’s still huge amounts of progress to be made in the way retailers engage with customer service for menswear, according to Martin Newman.
In a blog post, the Founder and former Chairman of e-commerce consultancy Practicology notes that historically, women have been the main buyers of clothing in the retail market. Men have therefore been something of an afterthought, except for perhaps on Savile Row. This, particularly in a world where you can order a second pair of jeans hassle-free online, is a massive mistake, he argues.
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“If you’re a business with a bricks and mortar channel, you absolutely must regard the customer experience as an essential ‘why’ in why your customer wants to do business with you,” Newman writes. “It’s not enough to have clothes and shoes that every Dave or Harry would say, “That’ll do,” to. If you aren’t going to engage with your male market base in terms of what they want from you in experience and product, you are only as good as the shop next door selling the same navy cotton v-neck. Stand out in the market by showing that you are listening, and you want to challenge the chore culture around men’s clothing shopping.”
This can be done by getting hold of market data. “Ask your male customers what they think of your store design, or if they prefer being talked through a product or left to browse. Give them some interesting visuals and ideas to engage in within your space: don’t go for boring stock photos of trees by your mountain gear, what are you going to do with your space to make your customers associate enjoyment, interest and brand identity with your product?”
“How would you want to see yourself in a changing room mirror: up close under a glaring halogen bulb, or with some space and time to work out whether you like how it looks at the back? Do we really need the music so loud? We think about all these things with womenswear so easily, it’s vital not to lose focus of the same questions and leave our menswear as an afterthought,” Newman concludes.