04 Mar Female CX: Buying Power, Challenges and Solutions – The Now is Female
International Women’s Day is March 8th, a prime time to check in with how far we have come in female CX with buying power, challenges and CX solutions. In the US we are celebrating 100 years of women having the vote. In the course of human history that is a blip. It wasn’t just the vote that was a long time coming. Females in high level positions, particularly in male dominated industries like STEM and music, plus gender equality in pay are still forthcoming. Even though there is still a gap, women have immense buying power and it’s growing.
Not all Women Wear Pink
Women are not just capable leaders, creators and nurturers, they’re individuals. Businesses that don’t understand that are stuck in the past and missing enduring relationships with a powerful consumer base.
Putting products in pink packaging isn’t targeting the female audience, it’s lazy, and to some offensive. Brew Dog came out with a pink IPA marketed to women. Though after the backlash the company said it was meant to be a satire, not everyone was laughing.
Like Bridget Brennan, author of Winning Her Business: How to Transform the Customer Experience for the World’s Most Powerful Consumers, stated “Pink is not a strategy”: “When a product is offered in only one color, and that color is pink, it sends the message, we haven’t put any thought into this at all.”
To market to women businesses need to know what they want. Connect with female customers and listen to what they are saying. In social, in customer service interactions, in reports gather data on what the female and female identifying demographic wants and act on it.
Just like men, women are individuals with different lifestyles, values and stages of life. Anticipating female needs requires knowing what they are. Having women everywhere from the entry level to executive levels of businesses that make female targeted products is important:
“We need to create products with women in mind, and the best-equipped to do that are women. From venture capital dollars to female-founded companies to gender diversity in boardrooms and leadership — this is how we create products and services that meet the needs of those actually clicking the purchase button.” Amy Nelson, Founder and CEO of The Riveter, “Women Drive Majority of Consumer Purchasing and It’s Time to Meet Their Needs”, Inc.
There is greater awareness of the importance of having women in leadership evidenced by legislation and the support of well known companies. The new 2018 California law, Women on Boards (Senate Bill 826) requires all new public companies to have at least one female board member. In the financial sector, companies like Goldman Sachs will no longer take companies public if they don’t have at least one diverse board member.
Bringing Home the Bacon but Still Cleaning the Pan
The future may be female, but the past wasn’t and some things are slow to change. Women, even those with full time jobs, still do more home oriented tasks than men on average. Caring for others, cooking, cleaning eat into women’s time more than men’s according to the 2018 American Time Use Survey:
- “On an average day, 84 percent of women and 69 percent of men spent some time doing household activities, such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or household management.
- On the days they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on these activities, while men spent 2.0 hours.
- On an average day, 20 percent of men did housework—such as cleaning or laundry—compared with 49 percent of women. Forty-six percent of men did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 69 percent of women.”
So getting the right product, on time and answers quickly and efficiently are valuable to female consumers who could use a full night’s sleep and a proper lunch.
They’ve Got the Power
Women still do the majority of purchasing for the household and on top of that, women are natural influencers. They influence the purchases of others. Even if the money comes from someone else, women impact buying by influencing partners/spouses, children, family members and even colleagues. In this way, “Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing.”
They are the head of 40% of US households and 40% of businesses are women owned in the US. That means a significant number of US women are making purchasing decisions for their households and their businesses too.
Women have serious purchasing power. In 2017, Dhanusha Sivajee, the EVP of Editorial and Marketing at XO Group Inc. said in an interview with Michelle King on Forbes:“…women are the most powerful consumers in the economy. “Global spending by women will be about $18 trillion by next year.”
Improve Female CX
- Women are individuals, treat them as such
- Learn about female and female identifying customers’ preferences
- Recognize that women influence the purchases of other people in their lives
- Women are busy, treat their time with respect
- Make the business welcoming to female customers
Don’t sleep on some of your most impactful customers. It isn’t just a wish for the future. Women are here and they are buying now.
Learn how to speak to your female and female identifying demographic. Using tools that support communicating with empathy and clarity, like CSAT.AI, help keep your team on track for positive CSAT.