Big and getting bigger: Online sales reached an estimated $301 billion in 2014 and research indicates that online shopping may quadruple by 2019. Analysts believe this dramatic rise will come from an increase in smartphone ownership and a shift in purchasing patterns as women experience the benefits of online shopping. For example, women who currently purchase shoes or clothing online will become more comfortable purchasing household goods and other necessities online.
Lookout Desktop! Mobile’s Ringing Up Sales
Statistically, women are still doing most online shopping from their laptop or desktops, but buying patterns are beginning to change. Shopping on mobile was up 7% in 2014, and it’s predicted that 56% of women will make purchases on their mobile phones in 2015. What becomes apparent is that mobile plays perfectly to women who are looking for a simpler, more convenient way to buy online—particularly those who may be already on the go rather than sitting at home in front of the computer.
But it’s not just the smallest screen that’s grabbing the attention of female shoppers. According to KCBP’s 2015 Mobile Trends Report, 47% of visitors to e-commerce sites do so from an iPad or other tablet. Another report from Adobe Digital Marketing found that tablet users spend over 50% more per purchase at online retailers when compared to smart phone visitors and 20% more than when compared with traditional laptop and desktop visitors.
What’s the Path-to-Purchase for Women and Online Shopping?
What does she do before she pushes the “Buy” button? According to a GfK MRI study on women and online shopping, women tap into their social sources before making a purchase. Researchers report that 73% of women contacted a family member or friend to ask for her opinion or advice before making a purchase, 43% searched the web to get more information on a product (both pricing and reviews), and 40% shared a photo of the product on social networks seeking opinions. Brands should consider how to increase their social currency through messaging that drives engagement and taps into the social graph at the point of purchase when women are seeking opinions. The “social” in “social network” can help spread the word about exclusive merchandise, sales, and brand and product preferences, and ultimately drive sales. And if retailers know what their customers need, want or enjoy, the chances of getting the right product in front of the right customer increase exponentially.
The Future of Shopping on Mobile
Will mobile shopping ever fully replace brick-and-mortar stores? We say “probably not”—women still enjoy the social aspects of in-store shopping, the experience of touching and trying on clothing, testing beauty products, and seeing household items before they buy. However, as women become more comfortable buying online, analysts predict there is significant room for growth in the virtual, rather than physical, mall. The challenge for retailers is to create an onmi-channel experience that seamlessly links e-commerce and in-store shopping.
Is your brand looking to enhance its e-commerce? At Women’s Marketing, we leverage our deep understanding of women’s shopping patterns and consumer behavior when working with our clients to develop strategic marketing and advertising initiatives. Call Women’s Marketing today to learn how we can help your brand to connect with women when and where they’re most receptive.
Sources: KCBP’s 2015 Mobile Trends Report, Adobe Digital Marketing, GfK MRI