Product Trends: Female Buying Power
Forbes recently estimated that women drive approximately 70 to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing. This estimate and other reports have led many experts to consider the female demographic the engine of today’s economy. Women are buying products for their professional lives and for the home and family, which means that behind most women lies a whole network of consumers. To stay competitive, retailers should constantly reinvent their strategy for selling to this demographic. Revisit core questions like, “What kind of products make their lives – and the lives of the people they are buying for – easier and more efficient?” And then, “What are the hottest trends in technology, color and fashion that will help them personalize their experience?” As we move into the back half of 2016, here are a few key tech categories that will enhance the lifestyle of the female consumer – and that come with stylish options for personalization.
As wearable tech products continue to become more fashionable, the number of women buying fitness trackers and smartwatches will be on the rise. Each year, we are seeing more attractive lifestyle pieces come out that can be worn in the office or at the gym. Products in this category are also becoming more sophisticated, with advanced data capabilities that allow consumers to experience how the technology can improve their lives. There’s a big opportunity with so many women adopting fitness trackers to challenge themselves and track what their friends, family members and co-workers are doing in terms of activity. Consumers are seeing that if they overindulge, they can get back on track by exceeding their activity goals for the next couple of days. The wide-scale adoption of fitness trackers and the advancements in functionality and fashion have made them an everyday staple for the female consumer, not just a fad.
Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
The female shopper has moved beyond standard black, white and grey speakers, and color has become a key factor when buying in this category. Beyond having so many color options, the latest wireless Bluetooth speakers appeal to the female demographic because of their portability. Speakers like the Logitech UE Boom are waterproof and can sync with one another to create powerful sound. These kind of versatile, portable speakers are convenient options that meet the various lifestyle needs of the female shopper. Women are also buying products that combine the sound of high-end audio with the latest in home automation, such as the Amazon Echo. Beyond accessing music, news, weather, traffic, sports and more already available on the Echo, users can pair the device with other products to perform functions such as locking doors and turning lights on with the switch of a button.
Home security is another hot category for the female shopper. Take the working mom, for example – today’s home security products allow them to virtually be at home and in control 24/7 from their phone, tablet or computer. All-in-one home security systems let them control their environment and who’s allowed into it, giving them the ability to keep an eye on potential intruders, children, elderly family members and pets. The key when selling home security to this demographic – or really any demographic – is to offer true plug-and-play solutions that are easy to install and manage in the long run. Home security is a category to watch as the home becomes more of a case study for IoT.
Small Home Appliances
Today’s female shopper is looking for small home appliances that are both functional and stylish. The products they’re buying have capabilities to make their homes more efficient and come in a variety of styles and colors for personalization. In kitchen electronics, an increasing number of female shoppers are buying high-end products that make cooking easier and healthier, in part due to the cost of dining out and various health and diet requirements. Whether retailers are offering products for the kitchen or other areas of the home, they will be able to expand their offerings as manufacturers continue to release more smart appliances over the next few years. Smart home offerings help households and the devices within them become connected to create a true IoT environment, raising the bar for what it means to have an efficient household.
Sleek, Stylish Notebooks and 2-in-1s
The female shopper is looking for personal computing devices that are easy to carry and support the BYOD trend. Notebooks that are around 13 inches or smaller are highly portable and help keep them connected and on schedule. They’re also great for entertaining the kids during outings or family trips. 2-in-1s are another popular option that have become a lifestyle piece for the on-the-go mom, allowing them to use the device for work and their families to use it for school assignments or entertainment. Giving the consumer options is the key here, so retailers should assort a variety of styles and colors to allow for personalization. This is especially true for accessories such as bags and cases.
According to a recent study by Webroot that polled 500 PC gamers, women are gaming almost just as much as men. You are also seeing more women competing in the eSports circuit. These upward trends bring new opportunities for retailers to target the female demographic. There are all kinds of cool accessories that elevate the PC gaming experience, like high-tech keyboards that feature individually programmable backlit keys, as well as mice, mats, displays, headphones, joysticks and bags. Gaming accessories also offer high margins and ASPs to help retailers increase profit, while delivering the customizable experience today’s growing number of female gamers demand.
The female demographic will continue to shape the future of consumer technology, and retailers will be challenged to keep up with their constantly evolving wants and needs. One common thread is that women are constantly thinking about what products they need to have with them and in their homes day in and day out to make life more productive and enjoyable. These lifestyle-enhancing products should be at the core of any retailer’s strategy. Taking the time to fully understand which products fit at the center of their lives, as well as the lives of the powerful network of consumers they shop for, will yield big results for retailers as we approach the back-to-school and the holiday buying seasons.