So why are so many retailers still failing to connect with women?
"While women are the drivers of economic growth around the world, retailers have been painfully slow to meet their needs," writes Michael J. Silverstein of the Harvard Business Review.
"Women feel vastly underserved. In aggregate, women represent a growth market more than twice the size of China and India combined, but the women we surveyed felt that retailers didn't take them seriously."
Silverstein and his team of researchers polled over 20,000 women around the world and found:
- In the U.S., women say they control more than 70% of total consumer spending.
- They express high disatisfaction with financial services, consumer durables and healthcare.
- Their number-one problem: The demands on their time between having a job and taking care of the household.
According to Silverstein, the recession led to fewer job losses among women; men suffered 85% of the job losses. "Still, U.S. women are not feeling confident and optimistic. They are the chief financial officers at home, responsible for balancing the budget, yet companies continue to ignore their needs."
So, where have companies made progress with women?
- Time-saving solutions are huge. "Women love the ability to check out anywhere in the Apple store and get a receipt on their iPhone," Silverstein writes.
- "One automobile company is working to give women the ability to 'negotiate' the purchase of a new car without entering the dealer and take delivery at home with less than two hours total time elapsed."
Since working mothers in the U.S. control over $5 trillion in consumer spending, it's critical for retailers to redesign the shopping experiences they offer to allow customers to save time, Silverstein concludes.
At iQmetrix, we're hoping our XQ Interactive Retail platform's ability to speed up the mobile phone shopping process will appeal to all customers, including working moms.
Do you do anything differently in your stores to improve the shopping experience of your female customers? (Please post your comments below.)