In Pursuit of the Male Shopper: ShopBop Launches Men’s Website

Men may not be as interested in online shopping as women are, but ShopBop, the top women’s clothing e-tailer, is aiming to change that with its new website East Dane. Born of ShopBop’s extensive study of men’s online shopping habits, the masculine-geared site, to be released in September, is a marked contrast to ShopBop’s women’s website, reported The Wall Street Journal.

East Dane will display models’ bodies without faces, show larger images of items and box in each order with some packing tape to make returns easier. ShopBop has found that men are distracted by faces in product shots and that they dislike “gifty” appearing product shipments, causing the site to eliminate ShopBop’s use of tissue paper. The male gender also appears to particularly abhor returning packages. "We received consistent feedback that men often feel the process of returning a package, from obtaining a box to postage, was a bit of a hurdle," Penick said.

The new e-tailer will also display big, clear product photos without models to make decision-making simple. These changes are centered on the idea that men prefer to simply buy the item and leave.

ShopBop has discovered that style-seeking men are a breed apart from their female peers. For example, one-third of ShopBop’s women shoppers visit the site daily. "Daily!" Jeff Yurcisin, ShopBop's president, said. "The average male just isn't wired that way." East Dane, in response, will be switching its main page images weekly, in contrast to ShopBop’s daily switch.

Women enjoy perusing pages and looking for enjoyment, while men prefer to make a purchase each time they browse.

"For a man to walk into a retail environment and walk out with nothing—that would be viewed as a failure," said David Bell, a marketing professor at Wharton School.

The male-focused site will provide tips on putting together looks and will carry brands the male shoppers desire to return to at a later date. According to Yurcisin, men generally go with the suggestions of experts over that of friends and purchase brands they have bought previously.

East Dane has chosen to forgo the traditional navigation panel on the left side that is common on most sites in favor of a panel at the page’s top, allowing for larger images of the products. Yurcisin believes men like fewer options to decide among and simple navigation choices.

Although it appears as an entirely separate site, East Dane will retain the same business, sharing executives, distribution systems and even shopping carts with its sibling site ShopBop.

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Photo Courtesy of East Dane

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