Interbike Blog

The Buying Power of Women

We’re continuing our successful partnership with the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition to promote educational sessions at Interbike on the subject of selling to the female cycling consumer. Here’s a preview of what to expect at the show and some of the opportunities that still exist.

By: Sally Grimes, Executive Director, Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition

Outdoor Industries Womens CoalitionAccording to a study from the Boston Consulting Group, women “control $12 trillion of the overall $18.4 trillion in global consumer spending.” That’s approximately 65% of all spending that women control, let alone spending that women also influence.

What percentage of your company’s resources goes into developing product for or marketing to women? Is it anywhere near that 65%?

One look around the Interbike show floor, and it’s clear the bike industry is still heavily dominated by male employees, men’s products, and marketing strategies aimed at men. Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition is hoping to change that by showcasing the purchasing power of women, influential female leaders in the industry, and outstanding women’s products.

The bike industry is not alone when it comes to industries that have traditionally marketed to men, but are now trying to tap into the buying power of women. Even formerly deeply stubbled fields like computers, cars and financial services understand the power of this market and are developing campaigns around what women want.

This transition does not happen, overnight, though. It requires a multi-faceted approach that begins with understanding how women shop and buy.

In a November 2010 article entitled Woman Power: The Rise of the Sheconomy, Time magazine quoted Marti Barletta, author of three books about marketing to women and the widely acknowledged chief rabbi of the Sheconomy. “One of the big mistakes companies make is assuming women are all about the warm and fuzzy, and they’re not. They want all the same things men do and then some.”

To appeal to women, the changes in a product or service or even the way a company is run have to be more profound. “Women have a more comprehensive decision process,” says Barletta. A guy, she suggests, is a targeted shopper. He will book the first hotel room he finds at his price point. For a woman, the secondary characteristics are key: the gym, the spa, the sustainability, the thread count. Get the guy right and you’ve made a sale; get the woman right and you have a customer.

How can you tap into the buying power of women?

  1. Don’t assume you know what products women want. Study, listen, then study and listen some more.
  2. Understand the important driving factors behind where, why and how women shop and buy.
  3. Aim to have a diverse group of decision makers at the table. If most of the people at the highest levels are men, your company will never have a true inside perspective into what appeals to women.

The Buying Power of Women at Interbike

OIWC, Interbike and Specialized are partnering to bring the buying power of women into the trade show and into your company.

  • Women’s Product Showcase, highlighting products designed specifically for women. The floor space is twice the size as last year but spots are limited. Register early to ensure your spot.
  • ‘Buying Power of Women’ Seminar. Hear from experts in this field on the buying power of women and how your company can tap into this market.
  • Executive Roundtable: Senior-level women will convene at an invitation-only event to discuss challenges the bike industry faces regarding the women’s market and recruiting more female leaders into the industry.
  • Awards Presentation and Happy Hour: Hosted in the Women’s Product Showcase, OIWC presents two awards recognizing outstanding female leaders in the bike industry.

Don’t let your company fall behind by failing to pay attention to the powerful women’s market. Stay tuned for more details on dates, times and speakers, and then prioritize these women-focused events on your Interbike schedule.

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