“Customers search by gender” – Do you?

Do retailers really need gender categories, titles and descriptions in order to sell clothes online and connect with you the customer?

The big UK retailers are telling us that when it comes to shopping for children’s clothing, UK shoppers search NUMBER ONE by gender. For a Boy or for a Girl being the biggest factor in the clothes buying experience.

Our reply is simple: If you always sell that way, won’t your data just reflect the buying habits you’ve forced customers into? Gender marketing dominates, after all, all the big kidswear retailers. 


Why not give the option to find clothing without relying on the tired and ugly idea that we need to stereotype children. Would customers be so disorientated by using category searches like type, colour, theme or age that they would somehow end up browsing garden furniture with a pained and confused expression, like Alice down the rabbit hole?

When I search for clothing I don’t think “girl,” I think about my children. I think age/fit, suitable for the activities they love, their favourite colour and what they’re really into – so at the moment, that’s Star Wars and Paw Patrol.

What is your experience of buying children’s clothes? How do you shop for your little ones, god-children, grand children, nieces and nephews?

Is it as simple as the retailers are making out? “Ah, Mark has a penis and is a boy, I will buy him boy clothes from the boy sections.” Because that sounds like a really odd version of reality…

Please tell us your thoughts with our poll below, or feel free to leave a comment – we are listening! (even if some retailers, so far, are not)


3 thoughts on ““Customers search by gender” – Do you?

  1. I often end up searching by gender because a lot of the big retailers don’t show any of the more useful search options (age, type) until you’ve passed that first gatekeeper. Generally type (e.g. T-shirts) and age/fit are my preferred search options.


  2. My 6 year old daughter does love pink, princesses, fairies, sparkly things etc. but she equally LOVES dinosaurs, space, reading Egyptology books, pond dipping and building bug hotels. I will always start by looking under ‘girls’ whilst online shopping because, with no other options presented, going to the gender if my child is a logical step. However, given the option searching by theme would suit us so much better. Also, I dress my 1 year old daughter in just bright colours, stuff we think is fun and cool and things her big sister chooses. I recently found some lovely tops and a cardi in Marks and Spencers with dinos on and a bucket and sandcastle on the cardigan. When they arrived they were HUGE, much larger than an equivalent sizing from the same shop and same age. Why?! The items are for a baby, the difference in size between boy and girl babies is not as drastic as these clothes suggest. It’s ridiculous. My girls do not need to wear pink for them to identify as females, we are defined much more than just as a colour or set of ideologies.


  3. What about parents who search by gender precisely because they know the item they want will be filed by gender but actually want to purchase it for the opposite sex? I recently bought boys pjs for my daughter because she loves Octonauts. Website data only tells you half the story.


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