E-Tail, She-Tail

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, September 26, 2016
No, this isn’t a mermaid story.  This is an $18 trillion global spending story.  70%-80% of consumer purchasing is controlled by women.    There is a reason why many retailers have shifted their language from share of wallet to share of purse, and why terms like Clientele’ing are starting to replace terms like Showrooming.  

Women are the gatekeepers to household and discretionary spending, and they don’t shop or buy the same way as the other gender.     

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, in 1920:
-- 22% of accountants were women — according to one recent study (2013) that figure is now over 60%.
-- 4.9% of lawyers were women — recently, 33%
-- 12% of pharmacists were women — recently, 52%
-- 1% of civil engineers were women — recently, 12.7%.

Women vote more often and in larger numbers than men.   Women are simply more involved in all the major decisions in a household, and what’s happening in day-to-day life.



The variances in behaviors by age band are shifting this even more, but some things hold true:
-- You must demonstrate altruistic tone and intent.
-- You must use “their” language or let them say it.
-- “Thanks” And “I’m sorry” go a long way.
-- Content is entertainment, not advertising.
-- Show vs. tell.   
-- Pink is not a strategy. The stories and pictures are what connect.
-- Everything is about being better, (look better, be better organized, better informed, better wife, mother, friend, better at job).
-- Brand loyalty lineage almost always follows the dominant woman in the household.

The old saying is, “going shopping with your husband is like hunting with a game warden.” Today, women are the hunters and the game wardens.

It is important to understand that our world of instant gratification is largely focused on men.  Men still dominate purchasing on mobile and tablets and large ticket impulse buys, according to a 2015 Business Insider Intelligence report. Men are users of online auction sites and marketplaces like eBay., the master of the impulse purchase and a more “deal”-oriented buyer.

With that said, a few tips you can take back to your direct marketing team:

1. There isn’t too much email if you have a good brand.  In a perfect world you’d send three emails a day to a female shopper, one for each day part:  a fun, entertaining, tips piece in the morning, a promotion in the afternoon, and a fashiony, very visually appealing email in the evening.   
2. Triggers work.   Online behaviors are indicators. Maximize the Browse, Shop, Buy path.
3. Mobile phones are for subject lines and scanning, not for the purchase.  The BIG screen and pictures are important
4. Promote Facebook early lifecycle.   Email and Facebook have to be a combined strategy.  
5. Infuse entertainment with task-based goals.    Understand it’s not always a linear path.  

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