Gender Based Website Optimization

As experienced digital marketers and internet professionals, we all understand the importance of knowing our target audience well before we plan to design any website or start a marketing campaign.

We all do a thorough research about our target audience in terms of gender, age, income levels, geography, social behavior, etc. and feel confident that with this research we will be able to deliver the best results required from our website or marketing campaign.

A similar research, at times, is done while developing an ecommerce website for our clients but still many a times we struggle to increase our visitor over sales conversion ratio.

Have you ever tried to analyse the reasons for this ?

I have seen many internet professionals doing the first step right in understanding their target audience but they normally loose their way when it comes to applying the research in their website design.

The way you position your website to your target audience is an important factor for a website’s success and must be considered well.

The traditional wisdom that women love shopping more than men applies in the digital world as well. According to the US Census Bureau, 80% of the consumer spending in the United States is controlled by women. That is a $5 Trillion dollar market annually.

It should come as no surprise that women make 83% to 87% of the consumer purchase decisions of a household. This number is true not only for essential household purchases, but also true for all purchases made with disposable income in a household.

The numbers do vary by verticals such as home furnishings, vacations, and health care are on the top of the list where the woman of the home has the final say. However, men take the final decisions on vehicles, electronics and financial products. It is also interesting to note that men are 11% more interested in Facebook Commerce than women even though 58% of active Facebook users are women.

Women shop a bit differently than men in the way that women are more interested in the new arrivals, the value and trends than men. Women are also tougher shoppers with more than 35% of feeling that website security is an important factor in online shopping. Another 12% feel that it will entice them to shop more if the website has clarity on their return policies.

Women are also attracted to online discounts differently than men usually are. This is evident from the statistics from worlds’ most popular deals website – Groupon which recently released data that said – 77% of their members are women. Many websites usually provide exclusive discounts for women on special holidays like Valentine’s Day, Children’s’ Day to better capture the attention of shoppers.

With the above statistics in view, it is extremely important that we as experienced digital marketers should start putting our research to work and optimize our websites based on gender as well.

There are many parameters you should consider while designing your website basis your target audience. These parameters, though can be different for different websites, but can be as simple as choosing the right colors, payment options, seasonal discounts, size of graphics, communication, etc. which is more used by your target audience.

For example, while blue is the most popular color preferred by both genders, women prefer shades of purple whereas men prefer greenish shades. You can also look at optimizing your payment systems as research data show that men are more comfortable using payment gateways like PayPal while women prefer using credit cards for online transactions.

In many other respects though, men and women are equally on board. This includes new ecommerce innovations like mobile shopping, QR Code adoption etc.

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