Last week, I went in to a London restaurant with my wife and daughter to eat. After the meal, I went down stairs to use the loo, but there was only one door that read ‘Toilets’.
Inside, all I could see were cubicles and so I went in and locked the door. Soon after, I could hear three women congregate at the sinks.
At first, I feared I’d walked into the ladies by mistake, but then I heard them talking about these gender-neutral toilets being the way forward.
Using the shared facilities surrounded by the opposite sex chatting (within three feet of me) was not an easy situation to be in I can tell you. Of course, without warning, I would imagine it would have been the same the other way around.
So why do it?
Well, this is not only what some companies do to save space, but mainly (and some will say controversially), this is to break down the male/female divide. For me, using same-sex toilets certainly came without warning and it felt, well frankly, ‘awkward and intimidating’.
At a time when gender-neutral is big on the political correctness menu, why should anyone have to differentiate between the sexes when it comes to buying a car? After all, for years this has never been achieved in dealerships and if you ask both men and women equally if they enjoyed walking in to a showroom to buy a car, based on past experiences most females will say they’d rather give it a miss. I guess this is not unlike me walking in to a toilet that was dominated by females.
Two years ago, at an automotive trade event I witnessed the presenter ask the typically male-dominated audience if they felt their dealership catered for the female buyer. With gender-neutral and the gender pay gap being such a hot topic this year, maybe this question would have been avoided in the present day.
By ‘catering for female buyers’ his question meant, was the dealer making the whole car buying experience enjoyable and less intimidating. In reply (using a live app that allowed the audience’s feedback to be projected on to a large screen), a rather low 14.3% said their business did (now, that’s honesty for you) – which of course meant around 86% didn’t.
Other statistics showed that 90% of female buyers interviewed admitted to taking a male companion with them when buying a car. When asked why, they said during previous experiences, they felt they had had their minds changed for them, or that they weren’t being taken seriously.
At Payment Swap® the online car exchanging website, we created a digital car-buying journey that every consumer will feel confident using. To swap one car for another while still on finance in a fraction of the time is now an easy and fun process no matter if you’re into cars or not. We’ve made it easy for anyone to browse and buy online before arriving to collect their car from the dealership – hassle free.
Compared to around 10% of all traditional showroom purchases being made by women, we’re delighted to say that almost 40% of our orders come from women. Our view was always not to look to smashing the glass ceiling, we’re just looking to smash the stereotype.
Our Trust Pilot reviews show that all customers are loving their online experience with us and using this new digital way to click and collect is an easy step to take. With a high 96% ‘excellent’ ranking and 100% saying they would recommend us to a family member or friend, Payment Swap is a great way to swap the old car on finance for a newer one.