Most E-Commerce Brands Are Making This Huge Mistake

We are living in the Golden Age of the Internet, led by social networks and e-commerce. Consider this: 

New social networks like the teen sensation TikTok are rising and reaching hundreds of millions of users in a matter of months. We’re witnessing a generation of consumer web companies growing at an unprecedented rate in terms of both user adoption and revenue.

But here’s a secret. It’s mostly women

Especially when it comes to social and shopping, women rule the Internet.

Female users are the ones behind the most engaging, fastest-growing, and most valuable e-commerce companies. 

Consider some more facts. Comscore, Nielsen, MediaMetrix and Quantcast studies all show women are the driving force of the most important trend of our time, the social web. Comscore says women are the majority of users of social networking sites and spend 30% more time on these sites than men; mobile social network usage is 55% female according to Nielsen.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has revealed that women are not only the majority of its users, but drive 62% of activity in terms of messages, updates and comments, and 71% of the daily fan activity. Women have 8% more Facebook friends on average than men, and spend more time on the site.  

According to an early Facebook team member, women played a key role in the early days by adopting three core activities—posting to walls, adding photos and joining groups—at a much higher rate than men. 

Knowing that is an important factor if you want to engage and convert across social networks. More female users will likely help your company grow faster.

A 2009 study by Harvard Business Review found that most companies still had much to learn about selling to women. It was the age of Victoria’s Secret-like brands that notoriously offered products with an outdated marketing narrative that promote female stereotypes. 

2019 marked the year that female-focused brands entered the game to change the way we create products, advertise and buy online.

This past decade saw the rise of D2C brands that emerged responding to our need for products and services designed specifically for women, brands that—directly or indirectly—promote physical and emotional well-being, protect and preserve the environment, provide education and care for the needy, and encourage love and connection.

At the same time, more women have assumed leadership positions in tech and advertising, and thrived as entrepreneurs in the e-commerce space. 

An exciting new crop of e-commerce companies building real revenue and real community, really fast, by purposefully harnessing the power of female consumers. One Kings Lane, Plum District, Stella & Dot, Modcloth, BirchBox, Shoedazzle, Zazzle, Callaway Digital Arts, and Shopkick are just a few examples of companies leveraging “girl power.”  The majority of these companies were also founded by women, which is also a revealing trend.

In 2019 alone, Emily Weiss’s Glossier, Jennifer Hyman’s Rent the Runway, and Steph Korey’s Away achieved unicorn status, the ultimate marker of startup success.

Stitch Fix, Eventbrite and Care.com are three recent female-founded companies to become publicly traded.

Let’s not forget Kylie Jenner, the queen of social media that constantly leveraged her 150 million followers to build a billion-dollar beauty and merch empire in only 2 years. 

What has made them so successful? 

Product development and marketing done for women, by women, and a focus on building user communities, gathering in-depth customer feedback and usage analytics, as well as growing organically through digital marketing channels (think Instagram). 

Even Amazon has made bold moves signaling the start of new times. Amazon.com launched a program called “Amazon Mom” last year and bought both Zappos and Quidsi (parent company of Diapers.com, BeautyBar.com and Soap.com) for almost $1.8 billion in total.  

“Women are the amplifiers of social web and rocket fuel of ecommerce”

Aileen Lee for TechCrunch

If you can figure out how to harness the power of female customers, you can rock the world.

So, if you’re selling products online, how can this insight help you? Would you like to lower your cost of customer acquisition? Or grow revenue faster? Take a look at your product, your marketing, your customer base. Maybe you would benefit from having a larger base of female customers. If so, what would you change to make your product/service more attractive to female customers? Do you do enough product and user interface testing with female users? Have you figured out how to truly unleash the shopping and social power of women?

You could also take a look at your team. Do you have women in key positions? If you’re planning on targeting female customers, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to have great women on your team.

This is not a statement on the importance of gender equality, it’s about making more money.

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