Customer flirtations: How and Why

A female begins fascinating a male by smiling at him, raising her eyebrows to make her eyes appear more child-like, quickly lowering her eyelids  while tucking her chin down in an effort to bring him closer. After averting her gaze, she will almost invariably and within moments, put her hands on/near her mouth, giggle, lick her lips and thrust her chest out towards the object of desire.


(According to research conducted by Eibl-Eibesfeldt quoted by Sally Hogshead in the book Fascination. To get the book, there is an AMAZON link on the left-hand menu of this post.)


Imagine a peacock and you can imagine the man’s behaviour.

Research has found that flirting behaviours - both men and women - are universal and timeless; it applies regardless of race, culture, language, socio-economic status or any other variable.

It seems to me that retailers would do well to learn from these universal principles because this is the basis of making a fascinating offer or proposition. And if it holds true as widely as indicated, the relevance may be stretched to the shopfloor:

Let’s see how this might work:

  • Smiling

How friendly is your store? Your offer? Your staff? Other research has also proven clearly that people like to buy from people whom they like.

  • Raising her eyebrows to make her eyes appear more child-like

Sometimes the offer we make is pretty crass. We shout ‘sale’ and ‘special’ from every corner. Now whilst that works for some (ahem) offers that may be made in certain parts of the town, the normal customer may appreciate something more subtle and innocent.

  • Lowering eyelids & tucking her chin down to bring him closer

How enticing is your offer? Anything that will make them take a closer look?  What will make them pick it up? (Once that happens your odds of a sale is better than 50% in most instances. Is there any mystery? Suspense?

  • Giggle, lick her lips

Are you promising to be fun; promising to be (ahem) easy (to deal with) - or are customers faced with signs and terms and conditions before they have even made the purchase?

  • Thrust the chest towards the object of desire

Ultimately the offer has to be clear and importantly, it has to be made. It is not about the song & dance; it is about the eventual connection. How bold is you statement of intent? How attractive is your merchandising? Do you make the first move and show your wares on offer?

Whilst this analogy is made tongue-in-cheek, there is an element of verity. Because ‘your market’ is human being first and customer second. Maybe we can treat them accordingly.