What Women Want: 5 Ways Retailers Can Continue to Attract Women Customers—Today and Tomorrow


Women drive 70-80% of household spending. 40% are the primary earners in their households. They control 60% of the wealth in America. Blah blah blah. We know all this. Women have money. Women spend money. What’s interesting is, how do we get them to spend it with us?

Well, here’s the thing.

You’re not just selling products, you’re selling an experience 

She’s got a lot of choice. A lot of convenience. A lot of places pulling and luring and dangling shiny things to get her in the door. And she’s got Amazon with 2-day, next-day, and (depending where you live) same-day delivery. She doesn’t have to go any place she doesn’t want to. So make her want to. Make her want to spend time with you. Invite her to view your store as an opportunity to do something for herself. To make her life easier, better. More interesting.

5 ideas to get you started

  1. Don’t leave her on her own, wandering up and down the aisles, overwhelmed with choices

    Help her make a decision she’ll feel good about. Train and empower your sales associates to listen to your customers, understand what they’re looking for and offer opinions and options. Not simply “oral care is in aisle 8”, rather, “this race car toothbrush actually got a customer’s son to brush for the full two minutes.”

  2. Celebrate your community. Let women know that you are really there for them

    Host events that will bring your local shoppers together over a shared interest or experience. Think about a “mom’s night out” for new moms where they can ask questions, check out products, and learn from local and brand experts. Or a partnership with the local area Council on Aging for an event about what to expect as your parents begin to need more help. Bringing women together, in judgment-free settings, you will help them build support networks during what can be very lonely times of life.

  3. Make your policies public

    Women support women. And they also support companies that support women. Today’s shoppers are double-clicking, digging deep, and using their wallets to make a statement about who and what deserves a share of their dollars. So consider your C-Suite, your Board of Directors, your Upper and Middle Management. What is your Family Leave policy? Do you offer your employees health benefits? When a company employs members of its target market within its own ranks and leadership, decisions that benefit the group are automatically made. 

  4. Highlight products that are made by women-owned companies

    Call them out on the shelf. Give them an endcap. In fact, why not dedicate an entire aisle? Give her the opportunity to choose women-made. My company recently conducted a survey of 500 women over 40 which revealed some interesting insights.   Seven out of ten survey participants said brands should play a stronger role in advancing women’s issues and nine out of ten felt brands should play a positive role in debunking gender stereotypes. Promoting women-owned brands gives you an opportunity to do both.

  5. Offer her opportunities for discovery

    It’s clear women want more than a purely transactional relationship. Make it easy for her to find something new and something unique that isn’t available everywhere. Something that’s going to make a difference in her life. Something to tell her friends about. Make your store a delight to return to again and again.

What do women want in the retail experience? 

They want to be recognized for who they are, the burdens they carry, the love they share, the difference they make, the fun they have, the dreams they realize. They are building lives they value: for their families and for themselves. If you can see that, if you can help them on that path, they will reward you for it. 

Originally published in the April, 2021 print edition of Drug Store News


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