According to Donnie Deutsch of CNBC's The Big
Idea, 80 percent of purchases are made by women. We're not just talking about
makeup and purses here folks. Seventy percent of car purchases are made by
On an episode of the Today Show,
Donnie Deutsch, Isabel Kallman of Alpha Mom TV, and Connie Van Flandern
who coined the phrase "Alpha mom," discussed how advertisers and
marketers are going after these Alpha moms because products that please this
influential group are likely to sell well. These moms are setting the trends
for other women. Marketers are realizing that if they can capture this top
tier of moms, other women will follow.
They referenced a Cadillac Escalade commercial that focuses on the Alpha mom
and her power in marketing, and how television commercials are becoming more
geared toward women.
Think about it. No longer do we just have the traditional stay-at-home mom.
Now we have the powerhouse business woman who juggles jobs, children, exercise
regimens, and life in general. Many women work from their home or telecommute.
Women aren't afraid to compete against men . . . and win.
Women hold credit cards and disposable money in their back pockets. They know
what they want and go after it. They're the main gift buyers. Even if you
think your online store isn't geared toward women, think again. I have spent a
lot of money on and offline in hunting and fishing stores because my husband
is an outdoorsman.
So how can you translate this into your online business?
Take a look at your own Web sites. Who do you think are your target audiences?
Have you considered that women may be the ones making the buying decisions?
How can you appeal to women buyers?
Think about the women who own their own businesses who might be purchasing
goods and services from you. Think of buying agents, marketing people,
management, and IT departments that are filled
From a professional SEM perspective, think of the small businesses that
are operated by women who work out of their
homes. Also, think of businesses owned by women who now have an online
presence. These are all potential customers for you.
How can you catch the attention of this powerhouse of trendsetters that many
others are missing all together because
they aren't targeting women?
Try these tips to capture the attention of women buyers.
1. Describe your products and services completely using the five senses. If
you're selling an expensive pair of Italian leather shoes, don't expect a
woman to click on the "Buy Now" button without letting her feel as
if she's slipped the shoes on her feet. When she slides her feet into them,
will the leather hug her feet like an old friend? Or, is the leather stiff and
Describe the color accurately. Think of the range of colors in the color
"beige." Colors are very important to women.
Texture is important too. How does it feel to the touch? Is it knobby or as
smooth as a newborn baby's skin? If there are any distinguishing marks on a
product, describe them thoroughly. If the product has a scent, describe it,
such as the clean, slightly dusty scent of freshly baked pottery.
Women are very sensory. If you put us in the action and use the power of the
five senses in your writing, women are more likely to respond. If you're
selling wind chimes, how do the chimes sound? Do they sound like church bells
or the tinkling sounds of rain on a tin roof?
Make sure that everything in the descriptive content is accurate and matches
the picture shown.
this link to view a pair of shoes.
Notice the discrepancies in the color of the shoes and the type of heels.
There's no explanation as to what "buckle milk" patent leather is,
and the buckle looks rose colored in the picture, which isn't mentioned
either. The writing is beautiful, but it's lacking in the five senses. It's
focusing on the sophisticated woman-the ego. That's fine, but if the store
were to focus on how the shoe looks and feels on the sophisticated woman as
well as fixing those marketing mistakes, the sales message could be much more
The one smart thing they did say was, "Limited quantities." Ah yes,
the sense of urgency. However, I'm not feeling very urgent because there are
several unanswered questions.
2. Women love bargains, so have a bargain section of your Web site, if
appropriate, and prominently link to it from the main page of your site.
Update it regularly, because it could be one of the most popular sections of
your site. Include different price ranges, gift sets, and different sections
based on the type of site you have. Offer free gift wrapping and anything else
to make it easy for women to shop.
Offer an area where visitors can sign up to be notified of updates to your
bargain section. Make it easy for us to shop at
your online store. Plus, we might buy gifts ahead of time if we find something
3. Offer a "Most Popular" items area, if appropriate, because
women like to know what items are considered by others to be very
popular. This might sway us into buying if we know that other
buyers really like it.
Think about how important this can be in a store where women might not
ordinarily shop. If I go to a hunting store and look at the most popular
items, I can feel safe in buying my husband a gift that other outdoorsmen
4. Be sure to offer gift certificates, which many women would rather purchase
so the receiver can pick out his or her own gift. Give a long expiration date
on the certificate, and don't make the receiver purchase everything at one
time. The way Amazon handles their gift certificates is a good model to
5. Offer a gift registry at your store. Fashion it after the typical bridal
registry where the person registers and picks out
the gifts he or she wants for Christmas or birthdays, and gift givers can
visit your online store and buys whatever they choose from the list. Those
gifts are then crossed off your list. Reminder notes can be sent out to people
of the registrants choosing to remind them of upcoming dates (graduation,
wedding, birthday, Christmas), sales, new gifts added to the list, new related
items in your store, etc. This is a great way to promote your Web site and get
repeat customers. Remember: women are the gift givers in the family, so
capitalize on it!
6. Offer a "What's New" section so we can see the new items on your
site. Send out this information to members of your list.
7. Suggest related items for us. We don't necessarily want to know that
someone else who also bought this item bought some other item that may or may
not be related to our item. For example, if we're buying a topaz bracelet, is
there a topaz necklace and earrings to match? That's more important to us than
red earrings that someone else bought at the same time she bought her topaz
If we're buying coats, suggest matching gloves. If we buy a dress, suggest a
pair of shoes and the jewelry to match. If you show us a whole outfit from top
to bottom, we're more likely to buy. But if we have to do your job by spending
the time rushing all over your store, we won't.
A good sales person suggests these items. Be a good sales person online by
making these suggestions to us. Even if we don't buy that day, we may continue
thinking about it and come back later. A smart online store would send out a
reminder notice a week later about those accessories to see if it could make a
8. If we buy certain items from your store, for example, watches, don't send
us unwanted e-mail about every sale you have. Yes, we're your customers, but
once we start getting too much e-mail that isn't targeted specifically to our
needs, we begin to ignore it. However, if you target us specifically, we'll
appreciate it and buy more from you. If you were to send us e-mail about sales
on watches, on the other hand, we'll immediately click on the link.
The answer is simple. Target your individual customer's specific needs. Few
companies do this effectively. Amazon doesn't, but you can. Try it.
9. With big ticket items like cars and houses, we often begin our
research online. I bought a new car this year, so I have personal
experience to pull from. Even the dealerships we talked to
suggested we visit their Web sites first, because we could view
pictures of their vehicles on the Web. In some manner or another,
the Web is helping to make those car sales.
With car sales, "little" things like color matter to women. I had
one color of car in mind and one type of car, and I wouldn't
settle for any other color or type. The smallest details matter
to women, so don't forget the details.
10. Donnie Deutsch in the Today's Show interview said that Alpha moms spend at
least 90 minutes per day on the Internet. The clock is ticking. As a group,
we're too busy with our work and lives to
dash around the Web needlessly.
Make it as easy as possible for us to find your goods and services. If we
can't find what we want fast, we all know where
the back button is. One of my favorite sites requires me to go back to the
main page of the site to find some of the site's most important links. This is
extremely annoying. I would spend a lot more time (and money) if they would
improve their navigation.
Bottom line: I want information, and I want it now. I'm a buyer.
Do you want to sell your goods and services?
11. Regarding Professional Search Engine Marketers, remember that details
matter to women, and women don't like hard sell approaches. Women who own
their own businesses need to feel very comfortable with you, so you need to
establish trust with them. They may have been approached by typical snake oil
SEO sales persons in the past, so honesty and being forthright with them is
the best approach. Tell them how you can help them, and set
realistic expectations. Don't trash your competition, and if you can't help
them, be honest and say so.
In Conclusion . . .
With women being one of the largest target audiences, follow these simple
guidelines in how to market to the group that makes up 80 percent of buyers.
It's hard to argue with statistics.
Robin Nobles teaches SEO strategies through hands-on, search
engine marketing workshops and online SEO training courses. SEW recently launched localized SEO training
centers across the country through the Search Engine Academy. Visit the Workshop Resource
Center, a networking community for search engine marketers.
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Copyright 2007 Robin Nobles. All rights reserved.
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