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Women’s clothing site, ShopBop, has been observing the way males shop online.   As a result, it is launching East Dane this fall to appeal solely to the male customer.   The look and function of East Dane will be markedly different from ShopBop.  East Dane will show models from the neck down, present bigger product photos, and include a strip of packing tape in every order to facilitate returns.

Article 10East Dane is one of a number of brands targeting the once elusive style-seeking, online-shopping male shopper.  Women have long dominated consumer fashion on and offline.  Yet men’s interest is on the rise.  According to Nielsen, women still make the majority of household decisions, but men increased in most types of shopping between 2004 and 2012.

Men’s cosmetics and hair care products are now commonly seen items.  Men are also adopting fashion trends traditionally only seen in women’s fashion, like slim-cut styles and ankle pants.

Yet, fashion-seeking men are different from their female counterparts.   For example, 1/3rd of ShopBop’s customers shop daily and male customers just aren’t wired that way.   East Dane will carry fashionable labels at premium prices, much like its sister site.   East Dane understands that men, when ready to make a purchase, don’t want to leave a shopping situation empty handed.   Women enjoy the hunt more. In order to facilitate the buying process, East Dane will offer advice on looks.  East Dane will also have a space on its page where men can store information about brands.   In order to offer a simpler path to check out, East Dane’s navigation bar is at the top of the page rather than the left side.  East Dane deliveries will also not look “gifty” like ShopBop packages.

Discussion Question:

How has ShopBop designed its new online store for men, East Dane, to appeal to their very different shopping habits?


SOURCE: Christina Binkley, July 25, 2013, Wall Street Journal