Five Foolish Failings Jane Hopes You Don't Make This Year When Marketing to Women Online
Smart Man Online: Guy Kawasaki

Jane Reports on E-Tailing

E-tailing, dear readers-- as opposed to retailing, is another word for e-commerce. It's been said, in more prominent places than here, that there is no such thing as commerce, anymore. It's e-commerce, or nothing.

BusinessWeek Online is taking the concept a step further...in the right direction, to Jane's way of thinking. In an article posted Jan. 4th, "Holiday E-Tailing's Year of the Woman," reporter Sarah Lacy writes,

"A deeper look inside the numbers [up 23% from last year ] shows big changes afoot in the way people shop online, and in what they buy-- many of the trends attributable to the increasing dominance of women as online shoppers. Consider Overstock.com (OSTK). For the past few years nearly 70% of its shoppers were women, but they weren't the biggest buyers." (my bolding)

While men may spend more--at first--Lacy goes on to note that once women get to like you, our spending habits "can ramp up fast." Further on, Lacy calls women shoppers "Pistil packing mamas." She cites spikes in jewelry, apparel, home and garden, flowers, and electronics-- all areas Jane has been touting as women-dominated for some time now.

We feel that the best part of the article, however, comes at the end, when Lacy says,

"...e-tailers beware: Women are demanding, seasoned shoppers. They want bargains, tend to be more discriminating, and do their homework before buying. "

Which means...e-tailing needs to get with it when it comes to customer service online, and the winners in 2005 will be the sites that, according to Lacy, become more "female-friendly" (who tells you that, dear reader?). We agree. It doesn't hurt to recognize that 2005 will be what Lacy calls "a discriminating woman's world" online.

What Lacy doesn't say is that more and more women are going to be looking to the blogosphere for shopping advice and product reviews. Lip-sticking firmly believes women will be using blogs to find deals, read reviews, and market their businesses-- to you, dear readers.

Over at the Business Blogging Boot Camp, Tom Collins has a "To Blog or not..." post detailing why small businesses should be jumping on the blog bandwagon. He quotes from the Fortune magazine article Jane spoke of yesterday, but gives readers more detail.

To quote Tom, "... not only should every business be using blogs, but they should [also] be monitoring blogs to see what's being posted about them, starting with any comments to their own blog posts and extending out from there. Another important quote from the article: "Every company should have someone put into Google the name of the company or the brand, followed by the word 'sucks.' "

Good advice...and relevant to e-tailing's recognition that women rule online A_rose shopping. If you want to know what we think of you and your products or services, check the women chatting you up in the blogosphere. It's an anything goes venue...where you will come out smelling like a rose, if you learn that marketing to women online means becoming female-friendly.

What's not to like about that?

Comments

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Yvonne DiVita

Indeed, Joshua, Overstock knows which side its bread is buttered on-- and by whom! Notice they recognize that men, on individual visits, may spend more...but in the long haul, men cannot match the buying power of women. We just shop more than they do. At least we used to... stay tuned. 2005 may bring some suprises. Marketing to Jane may be an issue of getting in front of DICK first. We shall see...

Joshua Sharf

So this explains why Overstock.com's latest ad campaign would lead one to believe that they had no men as customers.

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