Accessorize: A Businesswoman’s View on Technology Needs
The importance of consumer technology is growing in the workplace and at home. And whether we’re purchasing tech products for our families or our careers, women are more tech-savvy than ever before.
For these reasons, it’s important for retailers to remember that women purchase tech accessories not just for social reasons, but to help us be more productive in this fast-paced, competitive and ever-changing digital environment. Retailers should think about the needs of professional women to better understand what drives their purchases. Do they travel a lot? Are they telecommuting? Is fashion important to them? For me - a tech professional and a working mom - the answer to all three questions is yes.
Whether telecommuting or working from an office, I have found that I can’t function without rapid charge accessories for my mobile devices. I keep multiples - one at my home office, one at my desk and one in my travel bag - to eliminate the frustration of limited outlets in hotel rooms. Accessories such as the Samsung Fast Charge wireless charging stand or the Belkin MIXIT line of power packs can charge your smartphone or tablet by up to 50 percent in around 30 minutes.
When I attend business dinners or meetings, wearing a smartwatch is a must for me. This way, I no longer need to keep my mobile device on the dinner table or continually pull it out of my purse to check emails or updates, leaving others around you wondering if you’re playing games or checking your social media accounts. Wearing a smartwatch allows me to quickly look at alerts and incoming phone calls and discreetly decide whether I need to respond immediately. The added bonus with a smartwatch is that it also allows you to keep track of your fitness activities and seamlessly connect with your mobile device.
Bagging It - Fashionably
When it comes to laptop bags, yes, we women want fashion and functionality! We want color, and we want it to match our personality or lifestyle - after all, who wants their bag to look like everyone else’s when boarding a plane? I’m not talking about designer bags that happen to fit the diameter of a laptop. We need something that has a place for our laptop and/or tablet, as well as our accessories such as a travel mouse, charging cables, headphones and personal items. Whether they are sling or shoulder bags, they need to be more than functional. There are some great manufacturers out there that make product with us in mind, such as the Sandy Lisa Siena Quilted Tote and the McKlein Oak Grave bag.
My preferences for smartphone and tablet case needs straddle fashion and protection. As an early adopter of cutting-edge tech, I need protection for my brand-new device, but I don’t want to add weight or hide that fact that I have the latest and greatest. I feel the same way about tablet cases. They should offer some protection, but also offer a wireless keyboard for those times when working from your laptop is not an option. As in-store space is a premium - and most brick-and-mortar stores can’t carry an especially wide selection of bags and cases - this is an opportunity to present an endless aisle via your website that includes more fashion-forward products geared toward businesswomen.
Our needs don’t stop here. We also want the latest smart TVs and wireless audio to seamlessly share our favorite content across multiple devices in our homes. On the flip side, we also want to be able to access our favorite entertainment content while traveling.
Smart home devices are appealing to businesswomen, whether they are working from the office or traveling. It is not just about watching who is watching your children, but also, about ensuring your house is secure when working late nights or traveling. We also want to conserve energy and save money by using a smart thermostat. Ladies, all of these DIY connected home devices are easy to set up - I know, because I’ve installed them all in my own home. Retailers, don’t be afraid to approach us with more than just how these devices will look in our home.
We women love and need the latest in technology! So retailers should think differently about how to approach the sales of tech products and accessories to this specific group, whether in-store or online. My tip: ask the right questions, knowing that we are probably much more tech-savvy than you may think.