Good friend, Mary Hunt at Attract-Her, sent me this outstanding report on Gender on the Net. Since my main goal here is to help you with your marketing to women online, and since advertising is finally recognizing the role women play in sales and marketing, I like to offer these reports now and then. With a bit of editorial comment, of course.
The subtitle of this report is better than the title, "Why it (gender) matters, Where it's missing, How it should work."
The company, Resource Interactive, has a neat homepage. I like their insight, they say, "Women feel empowered. Men feel powerful." And, "Women Scan, Men Dig."
Here are some nuggets from the study, and my comments.
-- They say, "We need to genderize web sites. We need to take advantage of the Web's potential for customization and use gender as the springboard ..."
-- I say, "Every self-respecting marketer will tell you customization is where it's at, today. Customization is more than a gender issue. It's part of the 'experience' - part of what folks are labelling 'behavorial targeting.' The web's potential to serve shoppers with customization goes beyond using my name in your email blast; or using cookies to figure out what kinds of things I buy from you, on a regular basis. The potential today is for every business, every store, every company to actually get to know me. Via social computing."
-- They say, "Women report higher levels of satisfaction with e-commerce sites than men. (Foresee Results' custom study for Resource Interactive's The Gender Agenda, June 2005)
-- I say, "Women know how to shop. We may have come to the Internet late - frightened away, at first, by the whole technology of it. But, today, women find comfort in shopping online. We don't have the hinderance of dragging unruly kids through a mall, we don't have to stand in line (unless we're still using dial-up), and we can quickly and easily change our mind as we click through our options. Naturally, we report higher levels of satisfaction. Once we find a site that caters to our whims - we stick with it. Is your site such a place?"
-- They say, "Online women felt self-paced, a positive shift from feeling pressured offline to buy and to make their time invested in shopping pay dividends."
-- I say, "Women can shop online in a more relaxed state - in our pajamas at midnight! We can hunker down in front of the computer monitor during our kids' nap time, knowing how long we have, and well aware of what we're looking for. I believe that in less than 5 years, you will see the majority of female grocery shoppers going online. They won't blink at the added cost of shipping groceries - mainly staples, of course. I already do this online - and save myself the bother of having to drive to the market, find a place to park, battle the weather and the other shoppers, stand in line while my ice cream melts, and hope the cashier doesn't pack up and leave, just as I begin to check-out!"
-- They say, "Women are 1.5 times likelier to add items to the shopping cart for later viewing (carts are a winnowing tool that accommodates women's stop-and-start shopping patterns), and are two times likelier to use visualization tools than men. (Jupiter Research 2005 Consumer Study)
-- I say, "There is a reason for this - for the fact that women add more items to their shopping cart than men. It isn't just because of our so-called 'stop-and-start shopping patterns'. It's because we shop for more people than men do. We shop for the whole family. We shop for friends. We're always on the look-out for the perfect gift, for that little item our daughter or son needs for school, something original or unique for a friend's or relative's anniversary. And, of course, we never stop thinking about tomorrow - will I need this next week? Why not buy it today?"
The report is 12 pages long. You can download it for free. I found it very enlightening. Unfortunately, it doesn't address the personalization of connecting with your women customers. And, I don't see a blog at the Resource Interactive site.
Studies are always worthwhile. Explanations within them, citing solutions, are helpful.
But, here's what I think...studying gender issues is important - make it a habit. But, don't forget: in the end, if you don't connect with the people, like me, all of your studying will be in vain.
Do you want to understand women, and connect with them enough to help drive sales?
Talk to us. It's that easy.