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Hitting the CE Spot

Learn how to make women your best customers

September 6, 2012 By Bob Ankosko

Memo to specialty CE retailers: Think green, not pink, when a female customer walks through your doors. Women are embracing consumer electronics more than ever, buying e-readers, tablets, smartphones, digital cameras, notebooks and other CE devices for themselves and their families.

And when it comes to traditional audio/video categories such as television, women are equal partnesr in big household purchase decisions. If she’s not on board with the big-screen TV her husband hubby is obsessing over, chances are it ain’t gonna happen. The bottom line: CE specialists that ignore female customers are missing out on a boatload of revenue.

Women Driving CE Growth
Women’s share of technology dollars climbed to 47 percent between June 2011 and 2012, or about 3 percent higher than same period a year earlier, according to the latest research from NPD Group. “In a tech market that was fairly flat, it was women who were driving the growth,” said Liz Cutting, director and senior imaging analyst. “Of the big categories, PCs were still growing but it was tablets and smartphones that really drove the increase.” In particular, the female share for tablets jumped 8 percent year over year, reaching 48 percent of all dollars spent.

In terms of overall tech spending, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) found that women spent an average of $667 on CE products compared with $728 for men in its 2011 “Women and CE” study. And, although both figures were significantly lower than those reported in 2007, the gap between male and female spending narrowed by almost two-thirds, dropping to $61 from $173.

“We’re seeing the comfort level in CE rise among women who, overall, are finding CE products easy to set up and use,” said Jessica Boothe, CEA manager of strategic research. “Men have a tendency to outspend women overall but women are big influencers in where the money is spent.”

 In the survey, six in 10 women reported initiating or being involved in the buying process. And while women tend to consider TV, DVD players and other traditional CE products “shared” household products versus men who claim full ownership, they are more likely to claim ownership of e-readers, notebook computers and cell phones.

“Women like products that are easy to operate but they also want something that is the right size and weight for them,” Boothe said, noting that younger females are attracted to devices that perform multiple functions and tend to be more interested in product style, brand popularity and color. On the whole, however, women are still more likely to choose standard black or silver over pink and other colors.



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