DIGITAL ELEGANCE, WOMEN ON TOP
June 25, 2013 — At this point, most of us know the stats.
Women have strong purchasing power. They account for 85 percent of consumer purchases. Seventy-five percent of women identify themselves as the primary purchaser in their households.
So why — when women clearly have a say in purchases ranging from heath care to groceries to cars —does the technology market still seem to be skewing its products toward a male audience? Especially considering the tech-focused stats when it comes to women, it’s hard to believe the technology industry isn’t clambering to cater to women as a primary target. And yet up to 95 percent of tech companies are still missing the memo — and the opportunity.
The truth is, women started outnumbering men as Internet users as early as 2000, and they’ve long been early adopters of new technologies. And when you look at the technologies that skew particularly female, there’s a discernible trend: toward elegance.
On the whole, it seems, women don’t just want to use technology for the sake of it — they want to infuse their daily routines with tools that help them achieve more streamlined, efficient and smart lifestyles. In August of 2012, 27 percent of women in the U.S. owned tablets, as compared to 24 percent of men. They’re the top mobile commerce adopters as well, quick to embrace the technology of making purchases on the go via smartphones and tablets.
It’s not just devices themselves, either. Women are far more active in the social media realm, looking to sites such as Facebook and Pinterest to seek advice and inspiration from friends and brands, and trusting apps such as Mint and Flipboard to keep their lives organized and on track. Thanks to these types of technologies, the descriptors “elegant” and “useful” can very much work hand in hand. You name the category, and it’s likely one where females are leading the pack — everything from text messaging to Skype to GPS devices to e-readers to social media outlets.
“Tech is about the last place where men are automatically assumed to be on top, so of course they want to hold onto their fantasy,” said Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa, founder and creative director of San Francisco-based branding company PixInk Design. “Too bad it’s just wrong.”
The good news? In this marketing fumble lies a huge opportunity for those willing to change the game and begin marketing technology to women. Let them know how it will help make their lives easier — and more elegant. Make it clear that your technology will help them engage with the world or organize an aspect of their lives or shorten a task that takes away from hobbies and loved ones. Don’t make the mistake of leaving them out of technology marketing. After all, they’re already listening. Why not speak directly to them?