Back in the time before Covid-19, more men shopped online than women, 84.3% versus 77%. The online experience is designed for the way men shop, or more correctly, the way men buy. Retailers have spent a lot of time and money looking at how women shopped in stores. According to Robert Price, former CMO of CVS, “Women tend to be more invested in the shopping experience on many dimensions.” Take a moment to consider that. Women are more invested in the shopping experience. Women like to shop and they value the experience. Because the web is designed to make it easy to buy, not fun to shop, there is a big gap in the online experience for women.
What do your customers love about your stores, and how can you bring that online is going to be one of the key questions for 2020. No-one is shopping in stores at the moment, and it may be a long time before brick and mortar retail comes back. Since 87% of all purchases are made by women, we need to make online shopping work for the way women shop if we want to make retail more resilient to pandemics.
What does the retail experience have that online doesn’t? I’ve been to a hardware store with a petting zoo, a boutique with a cocktail bar, and a mall with an amusement park. Some things just won’t transition online, but some things work well. Product demos, fashion shows, and how-to classes all work online. The right answer is going to be different for every retailer, but start with your store and what worked for customers there, then think about ways to transition that to the online experience. If you would like to add faster browsing and an Idea Board where customers can see all the items that interest them in one place, take a look at Stylaquin. Women deserve a better online experience, perhaps this will be one of wonderful things to come out of a difficult time.