In the US and Israel, women are responsible for 80-90% of consumer spending respectively. Yet many businesses, informed by decades of male corporate thinking, just don’t understand female shoppers. In recent years, even leading business-to-business multinationals, such as Deloitte and Phillips, have adjusted their sales training to sell better to women.
If you are in business, here’s what you can do to attract more female customers
Clean and safe
Women pay particular attention to hygiene and order. If your store is not clean enough or set up right, they may just pass you by. Likewise, women are acutely aware of personal safety and will not frequent establishments with poor lighting, questionable access, or unsafe surroundings.
Comfort for (and above) all
Many women will cut a shopping trip midway if it inconveniences family members. If her husband has nowhere to sit or the kids are fidgety, she will just leave. Recently, I suggested to one of my clients to install a small play area with coloring pages and toys, so moms can shop in peace. At a minimum, provide ample seating for anyone accompanying your customer.
Women, especially mothers of large families, are extremely busy. That’s why they constantly look for services that provide help and save time and labor. Grouping errands or taking something off your customers’ hands will bring in business. For example, one gift store I know wraps and ships all gifts, eliminating the trip to the post office. A wig salon client of mine now offers door-to-door pick-up and delivery.
Show products in context
Ever wonder why IKEA sets up sample room displays? Since women usually think ahead to what it would be like to own the product, visualizing it in a setting helps them make the decision. One of my clients successfully attracted customers to her tableware store by hosting monthly workshops and demonstrations, featuring various cooking, baking, and table-setting techniques. Seeing how products are used in real life motivated women to take them home afterwards.
Validate and provide examples
Women approach shopping with a variety of concerns based on their own lifestyle. Even if their reasoning sounds illogical or petty to you, never make light of your customers’ doubts. They are the ones who will need to live with the purchase, not you.
Acknowledge their line of thinking and make helpful suggestions if you can. When selling, provide more examples and stories and less technical facts, as these are usually more helpful in women’s decision-making. If the same concern comes up over and over again, consider accommodating it. Perhaps your customers have just led you to a new lucrative niche.
When you put in the thought to make your customers feel more comfortable and welcome, they feel it. And then they bring their business. With a little bit of thought, you can make your business to be the place where women love to shop.