“Women friendly eCommerce?! Do you women really have to take over EVERYTHING?” was the first thing a friend roared when I told him I was doing research in making websites attractive to women. Well, the answer is no. The reason I write about women friendly eCommerce is because we strongly believe the performance of websites and webshops will dramatically increase if they anticipate on women’s needs…
The coming months I will write about women and the online channel. A while ago I started some research in the subject, and was amazed by its figures and possibilities. I hope you will be amazed too and start to think about how to serve these important customers.
Let me start with the following: why we should focus on women’s need in eCommerce?
- Women represent the largest business opportunity in the world.
By income, women represent a growth market over twice as big as China and India combined! Women are increasingly better educated, are increasingly participating on the labor market and slowly gain a greater voice in politics. Gender gaps are closing worldwide. This gives women greater influence and decision-making power within households and markets.
- Women are responsible for over 80% of all purchase decisions.
Women control the biggest share of consumer spending. Not only in the traditional areas like groceries and apparel, also in product categories which used to be the area of men, like cars.
- Companies are doing a poor job in serving women.
84% of women don’t feel taken serious by marketers. Many companies continue to market mostly to men and fail to explore how they meet women’s needs.
- Satisfying women means satisfying men.
Women require higher standards. In the online channel for example, higher standards on the navigation of the website and on the information available about products and organizations. What’s more, female values like durability are values which are also appealing to men. That means, when you understand women’s needs and values and anticipate on that, you will not only sell better among women but also among men!
So, women represent a great opportunity, also in your market! These women have the money to spend and the decision power to spend the money from their husbands. Let’s consider some organizations that discovered this potential and tried to adapt.
An old, but appealing example: The Dutch Do-It-Yourself markets. Already a few years ago, they discovered women were very important customers. They had to take measures after years of declining sales. The D.I.Y. markets weren’t exactly places where women wanted to be. So, the shops were refurnished: more light, more colors and better looking materials. Products important to women, like paint and curtains were moved to the front of the shop. Sales increased, among others thanks to targeting women. Karwei started the magazine ZieZo, anticipating on women’s needs. The magazine contains articles about how to use the products, includes personal experiences and stories. Customers can experience the product offering and see all those possibilities; things which are very important to women.
A second example: the Dutch Infiniti Centers. Infiniti is the luxury brand from Nissan. It is no news that the auto industry is probably the industry where women feel most under-appreciated. They recognized the female potential and put women in the centre of their stores, where they tried to create an experience. The centers try to create a welcoming atmosphere where anybody feels at home. The centers are not like a traditional showroom with the working area next to it, but more like a lounge with paintings, arm chairs, HD-information screens and sophisticated furniture. A host or hostess welcomes and guides the customers.
A recent example is the Dutch online auction OneDayForHer.nl. After the success from OneDayOnly.nl, NRC Media wanted to serve women with online daily promotions. They sell all sorts of lifestyle products, aimed only at women.
Women aren’t waiting for the female pink version of every shop or product. They want to be seen and be taken serious. They want their needs to be fulfilled. Think about this: how do you serve the women in your market? Are they satisfied with your product or service offering?
Next week I’ll write more about men and women shopping. Stay tuned to learn more and reach the female potential!