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Did you know that women purchase 85% of all consumer products? They influence over 95% of all goods and services purchased in the USA. Despite the different cultures, it’s not much different around the globe.
This may seem odd since there are about the same number of male and female shoppers. If you’re a guy and thinking… "no way”, let me ask you a question. How many fellows can you think of quickly who LOVE to shop?
Ever noticed how upscale women’s stores have chairs and benches, usually occupied by bored male companions taking a snooze? Keep the guy content and keep the gal shopping.
Most men are task-oriented. Get in, get it done, and get out. The exception might be at the supermarket if they’re hungry. At that point, the list may well go out the window and the snack aisle wins.
Many men will even “settle-for” a product that isn’t exactly what they want. If it will do the job, they care less about price and forge ahead. Purchase made, out of the store, and heading home.
Women, on the other hand, use not just the task-oriented side of their brain, they also use the emotional side. Think of a multi-sensory approach. And they don’t like to settle-for. Many will spend hours hunting for just the right thing.
There are also many women who help the guys in their life with shopping. Once they know his tastes, their natural caregiver instincts kick in and they may buy it for him. Or they let him know what and where they found what he wants, to shorten his shopping experience.
Women also help their extended family. When kids are young, women are the ones buying for them. They’ll collaborate and help siblings, girlfriends, and cousins. As parents get older, women again step into caregiver mode.
An aging parent may have challenges getting to the store or using a computer. Women to the rescue.
I will not soon forget the 90+ minutes I spent on the phone with my aging mother helping her pick out and then place an online order for a pair of orthopedic shoes…her first online purchase, ever.
Because women also think with their emotions more, they are more susceptible to an emotional appeal…think SALE. She may visit a store on a mission and the surprise of a sale instantly makes what she finds more desirable.
Online, she may find what she wants, but not buy it. An email offering a special on what she was looking at is a good trigger to get her back in the shopping mode.
Women are the original multi-taskers. It came with the position. Throughout history, men were off on adventures, explorations, wars or work that took them far from home. It was up to the woman to hold everything at home together and see it done. That required multitasking.
But multi-tasking generates external and internal stress. Your target buyer needs things to make her life easier. She is the one doing the nurturing, but she needs to be nurtured. Women need self-care. They seek to feel good about themselves.
If your offering products that can help her with any aspect of this, believe me, she wants to know about them.
CBD products are an excellent example. Many people seek them for relaxation, stress reduction, calming, soothing, and relieving aches and pains.
Nurture her with information that helps her understand how the product might help.
Women as caregivers expect amazing customer service. If they have problems with your website, coupon codes that don’t work, or poor customer service, you’ll probably lose them. If not on this order…when they get ready to buy again.
It doesn’t matter if you are new to the game or a big name brand. Failures like coupon codes that don’t work will cost you money…and customers.
In a review of women in all age groups, great customer service was a priority!
They are used to having to give answers and they expect them quickly. They’re under stress and that shortens patience. They don’t want to wait days to hear back on a query.
Make sure there is a strong guarantee behind your product. She is trusting you to try your online product. Or, perhaps is trying to track down your product locally. She needs support and information at her fingertips.
If you sell your amazing products through distributors, be sure to include a page that helps the reader find where to buy it. Like many other women, I’ve had the experience where there was no information online and a query did not respond. Sale lost.
In doing multi-generational research, I found it interesting that women across-the-board respond negatively to pushy sales.
The consumer today is more resistive to old-fashioned pushy sales pitches.
I know there are firms who use direct mail long-form letters who disagree with this. I’ve also heard of some super-negative sales approaches that were supposed to be doing well. Both of these are contrary to the data gathered by marketing researchers.
The demographic research clearly shows negativity and pushy sales are things to avoid in today’s online market.
Women tend to be more open to alternative health so it’s little surprise they are looking for information on CBD. They are ready and willing to look outside the box for a better solution. Stress, anxiety, pain, relaxation…she’s in the market.
Give her plenty of quality information. Women like to feel good about their purchase. While they may be attracted by an emotional trigger, like stress, pain, or a sale, they want validation.
Share customer stories, testimonials, and reviews. She wants to know the good and not so good.
Provide lots of Q&A. Give her answers to questions she hasn’t thought of yet. Share your outside third-party validation and testing data.
Provide quality, transparency, and education that will validate and inform. Don’t stop because she places an order. Keep the information coming. Keep educating. Help her learn more. Become her resource.
Women of different generations, approach buying online a little differently. There are still a large number of women who like to buy in a store, but with alternative health products that is less doable.
The changes in FDA regulations on CBD have opened the internet as an alternative shopping arena. But you will need to know the variations in how different age demographics approach shopping and use a mix.
Boomers may well be your largest buying group. They have the money, they are feeling the stress, aches, and pains. And they aren’t all looking for a sale. Give them a fabulous convenient experience and great customer service. They respond to email marketing and a strong online presence.
Boomers don’t depend on social media for their marketing advice. Most go directly to the website. Want to keep them coming back? They love straight forward reward programs.
Boomers are also a key influencer group. Nestled between the Silent Generation and Gen X, they help both those older and younger than themselves. They help their parents, they reach down and love to help the grandkids.
Many boomer women went back into the workplace when their kids were grown and are still there. If you want the group with the disposable dollars, boomers are it.
While a number are already over 50, their buying patterns are different from their parents.
Honesty, transparency, quality product information and a clear path to purchase are important to them. Email is the best way to reach Gen X. They’re on social media but don’t rely on it.
They expect smart use of SEO on your website.
They tend to be conservative shoppers and tend to be more skeptical. They are looking for proof of performance. Back your product up. Again, quality customer service is paramount.
Gen Y rarely looks at traditional advertising. Social media, word of mouth and user-generated content are their things.
Loyal authenticity is at the top of their list. They expect your customer service staff to use and be familiar with your product and act as an advocate for them.
Millennials are captivated by your cause. They are much more likely to support your cause with their purchases than a similar product with no cause.
This group can’t remember a time without the internet. It is integral to them. Their shopping and comparison are all done online…even if they buy in a store.
While many are still under 18, they are a key group to be interested in products that could help with their skin issues. Since some research points to the anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and sebum controlling properties of CBD, they may come seeking you out.
It will be important to be aware of all changes to legal status for online sales and shipping of products when dealing with minors.
Each group likes to buy a little differently so a marketing mix and segmenting is important. A marketing system that caters to the different buying preferences will see greater sales.
Segmentation based on specific interests or buying habits is a positive way to capitalize and increase sales.
Honesty, transparency, integrity and amazing customer service are important regardless of age. Likewise, a philanthropic business is well esteemed by all groups.
Avoid pushy sales as all ages are skeptical of them.
Make buying easy, clear and backed by a solid guarantee.
Since each group is driven by slightly different buying triggers, the more you can cater to this, the broader your customer base will be.
When I work with my clients we look for what can be included on their website that ticks a box for individual groups of buyers, both women and men. After they’ve made a purchase, we segment them by what they purchased and any identifiable triggers for best staying in touch and creating repeat sales.
Judith Culp Pearson receives three top honors
at the annual Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals in
Ft. Worth, Texas - October 7-9, 2023