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No one denies that culture makes us what we are. Our behavior, our likes and our dislikes, are largely governed by where we come from and the society that surrounds us – that is what psychologists and experts say and we all probably know to be true. So, eCommerce sites should never underestimate the culture factor when entering into interaction with customers, developing marketing strategies and providing web services or products. Gaining a customer’s trust is dependent on resonating with their deeply engrained cultural customs and beliefs and is the only way to building a customer base that is loyal and prepared to spread the word about a product or service. But what about gender? Do men and women behave differently online? Marketing experts have long monitored and spoken about male-female shopping trends on the high street, but do girls and boys show remarkable differences when it comes to online shopping too?
Know Your Boys From Your Girls
The answer is yes, it does matter, because the issues of gender and culture seem to be inseparable, albeit in different ways. Western cultures, for example, tend to show more differences in how men and women regard online businesses and what kind of sites appear attractive to which sex – whilst cultures where people function less as individuals and more as a collective, like China for example, show no remarkable differences in web trends between men and women. However, research also agrees that different factors drive men and women to visit websites and that they use the World Wide Web quite differently. So, just as successful ecommerce sites should never ignore the issue of culture, they should also be very alert to user gender trends.
Competition Is Fierce
The online marketplace is so crowded now that unless you have really worked hard to make your mark and carved yourself a nice little niche, it is really hard to stand out. In the meantime, users have it easier and easier. Usability is better these days, with less piranha-like advertising methods and pop up questionnaires to annoy us. Thanks to highly personalized websites, the advertising and marketing is still lurking behind the carefully designed web pages. Thanks to browsing processes becoming more and more tailor made, the marketing bombardment has given way to far gentler approaches that at least attempt to take into consideration what we need and want.
What Can You Do to Maximize Your Business’s Gender Friendliness?
It seems that the matter of gender in the online environment is something very important for ecommerce sites to consider, as vastly different gender behavior will determine how your customers are engaging with your site. This naturally has a direct impact on sales, so it is essential for you to know your customers’ sex and study their behavior. Did you know that women prefer websites made by women? If your customer base is largely girly, then this information could be as valuable as gold to you and make an unbelievably big difference in your yearly customer capture rate. So… what else is worth knowing about men and women’s behavior in the online marketplace?
Girl Or Boy, How Does It Play?
Women use the internet less than men do and so you may well be mistaken if you think that a website selling women’s clothes should carry lengthy videos or three page reviews, for example. Men are the ones spending far more time looking at things like computer or Smartphone reviews online and also when using the web for entertainment. It has been discovered that this difference applies to youngsters also – even as children, boys are far more likely to read up about a gadget, game or a toy online before purchasing it, unlike girls of the same age. Women on the other hand, as natural communicators, will spend more time using email.
Women Are More Fearful
According to research it has taken a heck of a long time for us to trust online shopping, and even today a staggering 75% of people have fears connected to buying things online, as opposed to visiting a high street shop where they can physically see the products and speak to sales personnel. Men happily part with personal information online, though, and do not appear too worried about their privacy. Paradoxically, women shop more on the internet than men do, but are far more cautious than men, and seem to have far less trust when giving out sensitive data – often giving out inaccurate contact information on purpose, or on blogging platforms and in social media, withholding details or representing themselves anonymously or under pseudonyms.
In a Nutshell
Knowing how to direct your marketing and sales online is vital, and knowing your customer’s culture is number one. But gender-specific marketing is somewhere up there with culture and if you ignore it, you risk losing a huge number of customers that might have come your way if you were more sensitive to their needs. Knowing that men like to be entertained and informed, and that women are very protective about their privacy but love communicating by e-mail, are just a few factors that could make a huge difference to your business. As this is so important, data analytics tools like Tableau or Power BI can dramatically change your business. The computing power they bring means that connections that might take you hours to make are dine in seconds, and it really brings another dimension to your customer analysis.
So in conclusion: yes, it will be time well spent to analyse your website and see whether it meets your customers’ needs – both men and women.