It's Tuesday. Here's this week's Fit by Five; 5 Neat Ways to Influence Jane to Shop at Your Website
1. Sports. You heard it here first--well, maybe not first-- girls and sports is not a new topic. Women and sports is in the news on a daily basis, today. Anyone following golf or gymnastics is well aware of the deep commitment some girls and women are making to the sport of their choice. This article, from Brand Republic, discusses a UK website which offers some insight we Americans may be missing when it comes to approaching women in sports (the site requires registration to access the article):
"FemaleSoccer.net to focus on finess in email drive"
The article comments on an email marketing drive to "encourage girls to get fit at the gym instead of watching Euro 2004 in the pub." Partnering with LA Fitness, the football website-- we all know soccer is called football in the UK, right?-- is offering a free two-day pass to the fitness club. What's not to like about that? Partner with your local fitness club and get more women to take a closer look at you.
2. Food. Women are the undisputed keepers of the pantry. And the refrigerator. When there's a problem in your life, be it a boo-boo, a bad day at work, or a fight with a friend, doesn't Mom, or the woman in your life, offer food to console you? Of course she does. And, when men and women are planning a first date, it almost always includes food; coffee at a nice cafe with comfortable chairs and a certain ambience; dinner at a local diner to keep a table between you while you get to know each other; or, if the attraction is very strong, the full course-- wining and dining at an upscale restaurant where the lights are dimmed, soft music plays in the background, and the glow of a fire in a wood-burning fireplace lends mystery to the evening.
Nestle understands gender marketing. Following the advice at market analyst Datamonitor, which noted that "to market successfully to women, old-fashioned stereotypes have to be avoided." Shades of Dick and Jane! Sounds like they're saying we need to leave those 20th century notions of women being only wives and mothers (both important and valuable jobs in and of themselves) behind. The report goes on to say that today's women "see themselves as independent, free and 'empowered.' " Hmmm....that's quite a concept.
Back to Nestle. Nestle is marketing a new range to women in the 25-34 year old age bracket. This is in response to a similar marketing strategy aimed at men. The results of that endeavor were so successful, Nestle gave their campaign a good hard look and discovered that gender marketing is a successful way to get in front of both sexes. They did some homework and decided to market the new range to women by placing ads in women's magazines. Their goal? To have the range seem "feminine, indulgent, and sexy."
There is food involved here. Nestle includes recipes in its ads. These recipes are developed to get women where they are the most vulnerable--in their heart. Because in our hearts, women want--more than anything else--to please others, especially family and friends. And, we often do it by baking for them. The interesting part of this story is that storytelling was discovered to be a deciding factor in what women are attracted to and eventually buy. Michele Miller is quoted in the article by Hugh Westbrook at Just Food saying, "You have to find the story behind a product. Women are storytellers, they will pick up two bars and if one has an interesting story on the packaging, they'll buy that one even if it doesn't taste as good as the other one."
Are you telling women stories on your site? Are you partnering with sites that cater to a woman's desire to feed her family? Find a way to utilize this need women have to set a perfect table, make a better pastry, or try something new and different, something exciting, something she learned at your website! It's the beginning of a wonderful relationship, I promise!
3. Offer more than one way to pay for purchases. According to electronic payment company, Cybersource, "North American e-commerce Web sites offering four or more payment methods get, on average, sales conversion rates of 72%. More options, more sales." What kinds of payment options are they talking about? Credit cards, gift certificates, recurring billing options, and Paypal or electronic checks. If you're selling items in a catalog, if you're offering high ticket services, your best bet for more sales conversions is in allowing your prospects and existing customers more options on how to pay. Cybersource also discovered that shopping cart abandonment declined with the increase of payment options. Increase your chances for sales conversion-- explore more payment options.
4. PPC. Paid listings in the search engines. Pay per click is a Search Engine Marketing option. A recent study by iProspect, a search engine marketing company, showed that "Paid Search Listings Are More Releveant to Women and the Unemployed." CEO Fredrick Marckini said the company "actually witnessed click-through behavior." Their findings showed that 43% of female respondents chose a paid search listing, while only 34.6% of men did so. This marketing strategy works. Explore it. Google and Overture are great places to start. They will hand-hold you through the process.
5. Humor. My children maintain that I don't have a sense of humor-- this because I don't find their potty humor and gross-out jokes laughable. Danny Kaye, now there was a funny man! Women like humor as much as men do. Maybe more. We have such stressful, harried lives these days, trying to cram 34 hours into a 24 hour day, a little humor now and then helps lighten the load. If you post jokes and humor developed specifically for the women's market, you will have women flocking to your site to make friends with you. The New York Times found Maitena, a popular woman comic, worth writing about in March, noting that the "40-ish woman with spiky, punkish blond hair," has become a cultural phenomenon in Argentina. She is quickly developing an American following, also. Her humor gets into women's issues with frankness and courage; the Times article commented that "A typical Maitena comic strip enumerates the types of 'men you have to leave before it is too late', or, 'six brief but suspect reflections' on a particular part of the female anatomy." Maitena may not be for you, or your site. But, there are hundreds of other sources for jokes and comic comments. One good way to make this work for you is to INVITE your visitors to tell their funny stories. Have a contest around "the funniest thing that ever happened to me on a shopping trip" or on "a camping trip" or, "on a Monday morning in June." Be original. Be daring. If you can't be funny, let your women customers be funny. They'll bring all their friends. I promise!
Now, what's not to like about that?