How Women Drive Your Online Shopping Traffic
Women are the predominant group of consumers engaging in online shopping in addition to consuming social media, making them a very lucrative target audience.
Online shopping has increased exponentially in the past few years due in large part to the ease of use and wide availability of products that no longer require a brick-and-mortar location to sell items. Per the US Census Bureau, e-commerce sales accounted for over $101 billion by the end of Q3 of 2016. Women are the unsung heroes in this regard, being primarily responsible for the success of e-commerce and social media marketing. Many existing studies show that women are a powerful demographic that can at times make all the difference in online shopping habits as well as being marketed to via social media and video content.
Women tend to be more active in online shopping than men and are more likely to seek out brands that appeal to them when marketed to correctly. Branding campaigns that are very image-centric tend to get women’s attention more and are most effective when they allow women to easily browse through inventory on the fly during a break at work, relaxing at home, or when they have some downtime during their day.
In 2014, POPSUGAR conducted a survey to find out the online shopping habits of American women. Some of the significant results of this survey include:
- 3% of women engage in online shopping at least once a week, and 36.5% shop online 2 or more times per week
- 1% of women prefer viewing images when looking at online shopping content; 11.9% prefer mainly text, and 9.1% prefer mainly video
- 5% of women seek out online shopping during their “me time” away from other distractions
- While visiting websites with online visual content, women do the following:
- Engage in social networking (36.3%)
- Browse the internet for information related to the online visual content (21%)
- Participate in online shopping (19%)
- Browse the internet for information related to a brand that was shown in the online visual content (11.5%)
- 3% of women use Facebook, one of the more popular platforms for social media marketing
- Most women spend 1-3 hours per day on social media platforms
Generation Y, better known as Millennials, range in age from 18-34 and are the most technologically connected generation to date. Women within this age group are much more active in online shopping practices in addition to social media and are a stronger demographic to target through social network advertising.
A year earlier in 2013, the Urban Land Institute surveyed the online/wireless shopping habits of Millennials, who are most likely to engage in e-commerce above other age groups. For Millennial women, these significant results were discovered:
- 54% used Facebook or Twitter to receive notices of upcoming sales, specials, or discounts
- 38% had coupons or other special promotions sent to their mobile phones
- 38% bought products during an online flash sale
- 43% often shopped on eBay
Social media has grown to unprecedented levels regarding how companies can reach out to their customer base, and women have demonstrated that they prefer to see image-centric branding of products they like with an easy means of checking out the item via the brand website.
- 81% of women preferred to engage with brands on Instagram, closely followed by Facebook at 79%
- Half of women find a brand’s website more easily accessible than its social media accounts or brand app, and 32% of women find the content on websites more relevant
- Almost half of women interact with brands online via social media a few times a week
What does this kind of feedback mean for your social media campaigning? Do not ditch your social media strategies, but rather focus them on facilitating the hook for your sales funnel. A well-crafted social post with a high-definition image of your product and a link back to your website is an effective way to reach the women in your audience.
Think your product(s) don’t apply or appeal to women? Consider this: in many households, women tend to make many of the shopping decisions, and are willing to do the research into products they want or need, regardless of whether the product is “meant for them” or not.
For example, if a lighting fixture goes bad in a woman’s home, she may go online to look for a replacement that has good reviews and fits the specifications that her electrician told her she needed. While light bulbs may not be considered a product that women would traditionally seek out, the woman in this example will still undoubtedly choose a product that fit the habits disclosed above: a light bulb with an HD picture, clear description of the product (including the specifications that she needed), and positive reviews.
This same concept can apply to women that procure certain products for her profession, even if the product does not appeal to her personally. Online shopping habits can still apply in a professional environment, so making your campaigns and product pages adept to those habits may also increase your sales.
Whether you consider women your product’s target audience or not, employing a strategy that plays to the online shopping habits of women can have a profound impact on your bottom line. By making strategic adjustments to your ad and social media campaigns to encourage women to find your products regardless of industry, the results may surprising results for you.