What shoppers want

What women shoppers want

Back in 2000 Mel Gibson assumed the persona of Nick Marshall – a cocky, chauvinistic advertising executive who acquires the ability to hear what women are thinking. Nick, as you would imagine, gains these magical abilities after zapping himself with a hairdryer in a bath and hitting his head… By the end of the movie, he has not only realised that his assumptions of what women want were seriously flawed but also that his clever sales spin and advertising was no longer resonating with customers.


This movie came out more than 22 years ago and, as cheesy as it is, holds some home truths for brands and retailers today.

Today’s customers are savvy. They have access to a huge amount of product information online and often know more about a product than their salesperson, IF they shop in person that is. They don’t need a walking brochure spewing specifications and statistics at them about a product they have already researched. They need understanding, guidance and answers about everyday life with the product(s) in question.

This should be a pretty simple course correction for a good salesperson, right? Listen to customers’ questions, answer them honestly, don’t try to upsell them, allow them to get all the information they need to buy with confidence, and in doing so create real brand advocates out of them… yep, sounds simple!

Unfortunately, retailers maintain a remuneration system where it is not that simple for the salesperson. Bonuses and commissions are based on hitting sales targets, encouraging salespeople to sell, sell, sell! Sales staff are rewarded for moving items that are about to be superseded, upselling to more expensive gear and adding value (i.e. cost) to sales wherever possible. Add to this the fact that many retailers have cut back on staff in recent years, so there are fewer people around to even do the job, and you can see how this creates a perfect storm for a customer experience disaster.

The result is that customers are left feeling frustrated, angry and unheard.

That is why we created LOOKB4. As customers ourselves, we were fed up with the pushy sales approach. We wanted to get our questions answered from real product users – not from people who are incentivised to upsell and ‘move’ superseded stock. We knew there was a better way and, without Nick Marshall’s mind reading abilities, we found out what customers were thinking the old-fashioned way… we asked them questions.

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