Sunday, March 30, 2008

tech store demographics- slice of life day 27

Saturday is a day of errands. On my to do list yesterday was "pick up free flash drives for Grandma at Micro Center." Every few months I get a coupon in the mail offering a free 2G flash drive or a 1G SD memory card. I also get one to give to a friend. Redeeming requires a name, address, etc. Okay, so maybe it's not really free. Maybe it's just a clever loss leader. Anyway, in an effort to get my mother-in-law comfortable with her digital camera, my daughter and I walked in to each get a flash drive for grandma's picture storage. She recently transitioned from a camera requiring film to a digital. Problem: She wasn't sure where to put all those pictures on her camera and she wasn't sure she wanted to delete any. Solution: a flash drive.

I took ten steps into Micro Center and noticed my daughter and I were the only females in this section of the store. We walked on and started looking around. No girls. No women. All the employees were male. Got to the entrance of the "computer" room. A few women were trying out computers. I started counting female customers, totally fascinated with the ratio of male to female. I wanted the men and boys to stop walking so I could really get an accurate count for my ratio study. They were browsing so many products I couldn't keep up my count. I decided to just count the female customers. After an hour in this very large, Office Depot sized store, really looking around (love those loss leaders) and consciously looking for fellow females, I never counted more than ten female customers. No kidding. Even as I walked out with my new drives and yes, a purchased product, I continued looking for another girl in the store, mesmerized with this phenomenon. I just didn't expect this.


Kevin said...

I wonder if the women are comfortable ordering from home?
Why is there always such gender imbalances in the world? (rhetorical question)

Anonymous said...

Another interesting study would be counting the number of times a female was approached by a male worker versus a male approached by a male worker. My husband and I often split into different attack plans in a store - and we always come back with a different count.

Blink said...

K- great question about online shopping.

anon.- I didn't have any offers for help, but I wasn't looking. Sales assts. were very nice when I was in contact with them and many were young. I did notice the politeness. This store observation makes me want to look more closely at consumerism.