It was one of those eye-opening moments. I was in Toronto eating dinner at a cafe by a park, people-watching (one of my favorite pastimes). I saw a guy walking his dog and some kids skateboarding, doing tricks and racking up some serious bruises. And I saw women — some alone, some walking in pairs.Here’s what struck me: Every single woman was on the phone or texting on her BlackBerry. Every single one. Most of the guys were gadget-free. This seemed pretty funny to me since so many consumer electronics marketing efforts remain geared toward men.
Women are an extremely important market for consumer electronics. There is a huge opportunity here, especially since, according to one study in the UK, electronic retailers are doing such a poor job of understanding and reaching out to this market. Here’s what study has to say:
Thirty-five per cent of female internet users polled said they would increase their spending on consumer electronics if marketers and retailers thought harder about how they approach them and offered more guidance in stores and on e-commerce sites.
A staggering one in two women said they walk out of shops and leave websites without buying anything because they’re unable to find what they want, representing a huge opportunity for brand owners and retailers who are prepared to rethink their approach.
One third of women do not feel confident enough to ask questions in stores with one respondent describing electronics retailers as reeking of a “strong scent of man”.
Almost one in three women do not consider technology advertising relevant to them and the majority of women feel disillusioned that brand owners and retailers don’t understand what they care about and don’t view them as a relevant group of customers.
Ouch! That’s pretty harsh. But if you sell consumer electronics, and you have a website, this could be really good news. More and more women are researching products online before they buy — online or offline. So answer her questions on your website. Help her find the products that best meet her individual needs. Lose the techno-jargon and speak in plain English.
Here’s a great example of a big screen TV guide. See how the copy explains more than just features and benefits; it provides useful information to help her decide which type of TV would be best for her.
First, decide if you want the TV to be on a table, on the floor or on the wall. The advantage of LCD TVs is that they age very well. They rely on a light bulb that can be replaced after it burns out, which usually happens at the five-year mark.
LCD TVs also are very easy on the environment. They draw little power, and their production generates little in the way of hazardous materials. The disadvantage of LCD TVs is that they are relatively expensive and don’t get much larger than 30 inches. Also, demand for these things has been so strong lately that they actually have been creeping up in price because manufacturers can’t make enough of them.
That’s where plasma TVs pick up. Their displays are typically between 40 and 60 inches, and that is their main advantage over LCDs. Like everything else, plasma displays wear out. Under heavy use, you’ll get about three years out of a plasma display before you notice severe fading. If you leave a plasma display on all the time, it might actually degrade to a point at which it is nearly useless. What wears out is the panel itself — kind of like how a fluorescent bulb wears out — and there is nothing to do but discard it. Fortunately, they too are relatively environmentally friendly.
This is the kind of honest, transparent guidance she’s looking for. She cares about the placement of the TV, how long it will last, and, yes, women care about environmentally friendly products.
Would men also appreciate this kind of plain-spoken advice? Sure they would.
Does your website provide helpful guidance? Are you helping her to figure out which product is best for her? Or are you just listing features and product specs?