Hitting the CE Spot
Learn how to make women your best customersSeptember 6, 2012 By Bob Ankosko
Women are embracing CE more than they had in the past because they’re using tech tools every day to stay in touch with family and friends, manage time and save money, said Suzanne Kantra, founder of Techlicious.com, a technology website geared to women. “Technology is a staple today” and the smartphone is becoming the tool of choice for more and more women. “It’s not just calling or texting anymore,” she said. “Women are browsing the Internet, using apps and doing all sorts of things that typically had been a little geekier and maybe more in the male domain a couple decades ago.”
Ladies Love to Shop but…
It’s no secret that many women like to shop but CE stores aren’t necessarily high on their list of shopping destinations. Only 30 percent of the women who participated in the CEA study described the “general electronics store” as a place that appeals to women, even though nearly all said they visit such stores two or three times a year, the same as men.
The problem is many CE stores do very little, if anything, to engage female shoppers. “Women tell us that the No. 1 reason they shop at a retailer is that it’s a ‘store for me,’” Cutting said. “In other words, it’s personal. I go in there and I connect with the people in the store that feel like I feel about my family and what I do with my life. Many specialty stores are not good at that.”
One of the most important things a retailer can do to entice women is to create an atmosphere that’s relevant to their everyday life. “It’s about the solution, not the specs. How do I use this for problem solving? Why is it for me?” Kantra said. “Studies have shown that women are willing to spend more than men on a product if they can see the benefit within that context.”
Selling consumer electronics to women has always proved challenging to retailers and manufacturers. “You can talk to 10 retailers and every one of them will tell you they would like to do better with the female consumer,” said Dave Workman, executive director of the PRO Group. “Cracking that code has always been somewhat elusive. This industry has built itself up on acronyms and buzzwords but the female consumer has always been more about the application of the product and less interested in the jargon.”