In the previous two articles on women buyers, we identified what women want from the sales experience and from the salespeople who assist them. We addressed what sales managers need to do to direct their teams to execute the experience that will satisfy this particular buyer and the environment most appreciated by them. In this final article, we will look at how to market and advertise to women so that it gets and keeps them coming in to your store.
Your Target Markets — Women of all Ages
Now that you have identified this particular market segment, you may want to drill down ever further. In your in-store event calendar, you may include particular style directions to focus on (examples: contemporary/urban, traditional/formal, comfortable/cottage) that will address the specific decorating needs and product trends. And you may also want to segment your female database to appeal to the varied but specific needs of an age group. For instance:
- Gen Y and Gen X – This group will comprise of college graduates who are outfitting their first home, young professional women and young mothers. They want affordable, stylish furniture that doesn’t need to be exceptionally durable for many years of use but for the needs of their life right now. They will benefit from design assistance to help them to make good purchasing decisions now as their taste and style develops and their family needs grow. Depending on the reputation of your store, you may need to advertise specifically to this group, as you may not be known for the type of product this group wants. For example, the Todd Oldham Collection by La-Z-Boy was perfect for this group but the retailer wasn’t readily known for this style of upholstery. This group will use the Internet to do their research prior to coming into your store.
- Baby Boomers – This group may be looking to move away from their kid-proof furniture to furniture that is stylish but stands up to entertaining. Baby Boomers are also second home buyers. Many of them can afford to invest in better quality furniture, but they are reluctant to spend on quality that they don’t understand. They have experience shopping for home related products and have developed their personal style of decorating. Personal shopping services appeal to this group as time is a premium for them.
- Seniors – This group of women may be retired or semi-retired, still likes furniture of quality but whose comfort needs have changed. These women may have moved from larger homes to smaller spaces in which their large-scaled furniture is no longer appropriate. Partnering with the AARP and being visible in retirement villages and assisted living environments will put you on their radar.
All of these groups want to feel that they spend wisely and are attracted to specials and promotions, especially those that are directed to them.
Partnering with Community Organizations
Women are partial to buying from those retailers who share their interests and passions. There are charities and causes that are dear to women and their families. You don’t need to partner with all of them, but with those that also resonate for you, your female employees and your organization.
- Eco-friendly product and environments are attractive to women and need to be carried through the enterprise via recycling, energy reduction and using natural resources wisely. If you advertise it, walk the entire walk, because they are watching.
- Health related partners from breast cancer and diabetes to children’s health issues are important to women. You may participate and sponsor walks and marathons, or donate a portion of a promotion to a particular cause.
- Women in distress — women’s shelters always need furniture, clothing, housewares and personal needs items. You can enlist the generosity of your customer base and your employees to make donations to a local charity.
- Education and school sports — sponsor a team, conduct art fairs and Christmas tree decorating events — all to support the growth and development of our next generation.
In New England there are several retailers — Jordan’s Furniture, Bernie & Phyl’s and Cardi’s Furniture — all of whom have aligned themselves with charities for families, women and children that are close to their hearts and important to their target market. Do your part and let your market know what you stand for.
Managing the Marketing and Advertising
- In the last article, we focused on creating an in-store event calendar with classes and presentations on a variety of home related subjects. Post that calendar in your store and make it available in a handout form for your store to invite customers to attend. Prep your presenters ahead of time for the number of attendees they can expect to see.
- At the beginning of the month, inform your sales team on what the promotions are for the month, as they pertain to specific buyers. Prepare and direct them to the actions they need to take to bring their clients in to participate in the promotion that best suites them and their home decorating needs.
- Be mindful of your advertising and the product you actually have on hand. Boomers, young mothers and young working women are very time sensitive, and if you have a product that is advertised and not available on the floor, this group will respond unfavorably. They arranged their schedule to come in, see something and buy it, but they will leave unsatisfied if they can’t do that.
Women want to build long-term relationships with retailers who like them and who are like them. Tell them who you are, what you stand for and what you believe in — and then deliver it. If you do that and ask them to buy from you, they will. Then ask them to come back and do it again.
Take the first step. In these three articles, I have given you a lot to do to capture this market segment and to have fun doing it. If you have questions, call me, and I will help you to make this your best year yet!
Jody Seivert, M.Ed., IDS is the principal of One by One Companies – Specialists in Raising Retail Revenues ™. Her approach is unheard of in the business world as she contractually guarantees that her clients see top line results. Jody can be contacted at email@example.com, (877) ONEXONE or www.onexone.com.