A personal blog post: Why I'm apparently always wearing my pink colored glasses

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Frida Sandin

A personal blog post: Why I’m apparently always wearing my pink colored glasses

By Frida Sandin, July 6, 2011

I must warn you that this will probably end up being my most personal blog post yet, however reading it might also end up being your most well spent minutes in a long time.

Everyday a market more than twice as big as China and India combined is being overlooked. The population of this market is often e-commerce savy, high spenders and brand loyal. Every day this market stands for missed commerce opportunities in the region of 600 million Euro.

Yes, I am talking about the women.

When women and e-commerce are being discussed, the message often ends up somewhere close to ‘Yes, of course women are e-commerce savvy – now they get an opportunity to spend even more!’, often followed by condescending laughter and a number of agreeing smiles. But nowhere in my line of business experience would it ever considered okay to patronize a buying customer.

The technology and consumer electronics sector could greatly benefit from reading this post, as the situation there seems to be just getting worse and worse. Women are being addressed with more discriminating, embarrassing advertisements than ever before. My screens keep filling up with commercials telling me to match my gadgets with my manicure or changing my iPhone shell to match the outfit of the day, and all I’m filled with is aversion to ever buy something from that brand. This goes for e-commerce sites as well – when directing product ranges towards women you don’t need to color code the section in pink or even include unwanted software telling me how many calories I have consumed in one day. Instead I suggest that you focus some of that energy on creating better usability, no matter gender, I promise you that sales will follow.

Let’s have a look at some tech facts:

  • Apple has been said to spend over 70% of their research time focusing on women and optimising their UI for women and it has obviously proven to be lucrative time spent for them
  • 91% of women are involved in home electronics purchases
  • Women account for just under 50% of the Internet population in the U.S., however they generate 58% of e-commerce dollars

To overlook this target group is to deprioritize not just your own future ROI, but the market progress and spendings in total.

Women are interested in e-commerce, women are browsing more frequently than ever before and we’re willing to spend. For retailers it shouldn’t matter whether it’s a man or a woman sitting behind the screen, what matters is the relevance of the products being displayed. To define target groups by wide categories as gender or age isn’t relevant, instead we need to narrow down target groups to segments such as purpose driven shoppers, price sensitiveness and brand preferences, attributes we work with at Avail every day. Perhaps it’s easy to assume that a woman is looking for a computer to match her manicure, I am however not one of them and if you personalized your products towards my previous shopping patterns and interest you would know that and instead present me with the latest high tech product on the market, gain a loyal high spending customer and use my data to enhance another customer’s shopping experience.

All of the above are reasons why I take pride in being a part of the revolution that’s taking place within the field of personalization, through it we can all take one step forward and strive for true equality. Whether it applies to gender, ethnic origin or simply comes down to our color preferences doesn’t make any difference, as long as we can enjoy the opportunities that digitization has brought us instead of getting caught up in biased communication.

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