Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dude, That’s a Purse.

By Kelley Styring, Principal, InsightFarm & OmniShopper 2017 Keynote Speaker

OmniShopper 2017 attendees will get the first look at results of InsightFarm Principal Kelley Styring’s Second Edition of her groundbreaking 2007 study, In YourPurse: Archaeology of the American Handbag. We asked Kelley to share one thing she wasn’t expecting when she looked inside the often overlooked, yet oh-so-critical, handbag.

10 years ago, the last chapter of my first book, In Your Purse: Archaeology of the American Handbag, was titled Mythology and the Man Bag. I went on to discuss that, unlike the rest of my book, I had NOT painstakingly researched men and their relationships with purses, but based on available information, observation and experience, I felt that I was on firm ground stating that “Men, in general, do not carry purses.” Instead, men carried objects used to carry something specific, like business papers, gym clothes, tools or lunch.


 What a difference a decade makes.

Digital has not only changed when and where we shop, but it has changed WHO shops. Because of digital, men are responsible for more shopping than ever before. Men prefer shopping online rather than in-store and make more purchases on their phones than women. Young men, young dads in particular, are doing more of the grocery shopping.

And because of digital, about one in four men are now carrying purses. Seriously.

So, 26% of them call it a satchel and 43% of them carry a backpack. But make no mistake about it, it’s a purse. 

They carry laptops, phones, chargers, grooming items, and whatnot in them. There simply aren’t enough pockets in which to safely carry those digital devices every day, so they get a bag. Since they’re already carrying a bag for their devices, why not throw a lip balm, some tissues and your sunglasses in there, too? And, there you have it, a purse.

For over a decade, I’ve heard many, many marketers trivialize the purse and make light of this research until they hear the numbers, count the categories, and calculate the billions of dollars in business opportunity hiding from them in the humble handbag. It is an important tool of commerce that is vital to the daily life of 85% of people in the U.S.

So trivialize no more, ‘cause dude, a quarter of you are carrying a purse!


Be sure to attend Kelley Styring’s OmniShopper Keynote Winning in Her Purse at 11:15 a.m. on June 20 and discover how technology has caused far-reaching disruption, even in the most ubiquitous fashion and life accessory. 

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