Hint: She's about 48 years old and currently spends nearly $100 online every month.
It happened. The scales have been tipped. According to The Wall Street Journal, the new online shopper is 48 years old and predominantly female (57 percent). Best of all, she's ready to shop, spending about $276 online in a three month period.
What does this mean to purveyors of online content? I'd say it signals a need for more gender awareness. If you're not targeting your site to women, you might want to consider swinging that way. But don't... oh please, I beg of you... fall into gender stereotypes.
First, consider the statistics. According to Forrester Research (as reported in The Journal), average household income of the new Web shopper is $52,300. Many (but not all) of these new shoppers (42 percent) have children under 18, and 39 percent have a college degree.
Interestingly, "new shoppers" interviewed for the article cite lack of time as their number one incentive for Web surfing. Many also report e-commerce wariness as their reason for not shopping online sooner.
How does one target a cautious, thoughtful woman shopper? First, eschew stereotypes:
Go out and target the latest Web converts. But if I ever chance upon content remotely similar to that "ring around the collar" shtick, you're going to hear from me!
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Susan Solomon is the executive director of marketing and public relations for Memorial Health Services, a five-hospital health system in Southern California. In this capacity, she manages promotional activities for both traditional and new media. Susan is also a marketing communications instructor at the University of California, Irvine; California State University, Fullerton; and the University of California, Los Angeles.
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