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In this two-part series, we will focus on women online shoppers. Percentage of women in online shoppers is increasing rapidly and it is very important for all online businesses to understand their motivations, online behaviors, and desires better, so that they can be targeted appropriately. In this, we will present some data to show the growth of women shoppers and their influence in both offline and online shopping, and present reasons why it is a good idea to target them. Part-2 will focus on why their influence is increasing, and how we can attract them to our store.

We can’t dispute over the importance of shopping in our lives. When it comes to women, there are very few things that have such magical effect on uplifting their spirit as shopping. Shopping is one of the most satisfying indulgences for any women. Ask any women and there will be one perfect item she will have in her mind for any mood or occasion. A woman may shop for many reasons: personal need, pleasure and relaxation, gifting, fulfilling their caregiver duties (for spouse, kids and elder family members), etc.

According to a survey (9,000 urban women above 25 years) by IMRB, over last decade, average income of urban Indian women has doubled. Over a period of 7 years (2003 to 2010), women participation in actual buying process has gone up from 34% to 43%. Among other things, this survey points to the growing influence of women in all purchases, offline or online.

As per an ASSOCHAM survey on increased spending during festive season (Oct-Nov), purchasing gift articles was the largest component of online shopping at 58%. Gifting is a predominantly women-owned activity; they get assigned these duties even at workplace!

Some of the industry experts estimate that around 35 to 40 percent women shop over internet. According to ASSOCHAM, There are approximately 120 million online shoppers, 24%of them are women. While there may be variance about actual % of women shoppers, there is no denying the fact that their number is growing significantly.

“Women are influential shoppers. They start with low-risk and low-value items such as an accessory and from there move on to bigger purchases such as dresses and bags” says Mukesh Bansal, the founder of Myntra.

All these go on to demonstrate the same point: women constitute influential and growing demographics as far as online shopping is concerned. For any online store, they present an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. Marketing and advertising for all online stores should give appropriate focus to this target segment. To do this, it is very important to understand the buying behavior of women, what attracts them to online shopping, and finally, what should an online business do to attract women visitors, convert them into buyers, and then get repeat business from them.

Why target women shoppers

Here are a few reasons why it is a good idea for an online store to target women shoppers:

  1. Large and Growing Audience – Women constitute about 30% of online shoppers, and growing. One can’t ignore such a big portion of the target segment. Women buying behavior is different than men, and most marketing plans targeting men behavior will not work well for this segment.
  2. Women are Influencers – Even when men purchase, women influence the decision of buying, so it is important to keep women’s needs in mind when drafting strategies for your online store.
  3. Younger Males’ Habits Are Similar to Females – According to Shoppercentric, a UK-based shopping research firm, found that 18-24 year old males defy most male shopping patterns by browsing — both in retail stores and online — shopping with friends, and rivaling women in the number of impulse purchases. Thus a women-targeted advertising and marketing can have a broader impact and can attract this segment too.

It is clear that no online business can afford to ignore this segment. In the next article, we will discuss why online is an attractive channel for shopping and how you can attract them to your business.