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Capturing Her Eye, Her Heart, Her Wallet

With all that in mind, if you want to attract and hold the female consumer, here are 10 things to keep in mind for your shopping site.

  1. She's not interested in gimmicks. She doesn't have the time for techno gizmos and gadgets once she hits your web site. Keep your blinking, moving graphics and Flash presentations to a minimum. Better yet, drop them altogether.

  2. She views the Web as a time-saver. That means that her visit can be counted in seconds if your web site takes too long to load.

  3. If she can't find what she's looking for quickly, she'll shop somewhere else. Make sure that your site navigation is easy to use and can send her to the places on your site where she needs to go. Above all, offer her information and services—not a sales pitch.

  4. She wants convenience. Simplify your site and make it easy for her to buy from you. Don't force her to spend a lot of time figuring out how to buy from you. When her shopping cart is ready, she wants to check out fast. Don't offer a complex process, asking for more information than is necessary to complete her order. Offer those demographic and marketing questions after she has completed her purchase and received her order number. It's up to you to entice her to provide personal information.

  5. She loves to share. And that's why the interactivity of the Web can help you attract the female shopper. As Popcorn writes, "Women are very receptive to organizations that invite them to participate in the creation of a brand or product if they are provided the forum." Encourage relationships between shoppers. Establish a discussion board on your site for shoppers to ask questions and exchange ideas. This simple addition to your site can provide a way for her to find others like herself who can help her make a buying decision.

  6. Watch your language! And I don't mean profanity. Don't refer to your customers as he or talk about "the woman in your life." Don't give the impression that your entire community consists of males.

  7. Respect her privacy and security. Post a privacy policy and a link to it on every page of your site—and live by it. Also, remind her at every turn how secure her transaction is—and make sure you safeguard that transaction.

  8. Incorporate live customer support tools that don't require her to fool with a lot of technology. Don't require her to download and install plug-ins.

  9. She has a lot of things to deal with in her life and probably has many interruptions. So make it easy for her to come back to your site and pick up where she left off—in other words, let her save her shopping cart for later.

  10. Finally, listen and respond to her. Be prepared for criticism—and act on it.

Keep these pointers in mind, and you can cash in on one of the fastest growing markets on the web.

Viva la différence!

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