October 7, 2004, 12:00 AM

What do women want online? Easier, more personalized shopping

Women want their online shopping experiences to make their lives easier, Kelly Mooney, president of Resource Interactive told the Shop.org Summit this week.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Women want their online shopping experiences to make their lives easier. That’s the outcome of research based on a series of interviews with women two at a time that consultants Resource Interactive conducted for the Shop.org Summit this week in Anaheim, CA, and that resource Interactive president Kelly Mooney presented Wednesday.

The 10 things women want online, Mooney reported, are:
The big picture of their purchases. To meet that need, retailers should give shoppers a starting point, such as an ensemble when she’s viewing a piece of apparel. "Help me do the majority of the thinking," one interviewee said.
Ability to edit what they see, wanting only things that they deem relevant. To achieve that, retailers need to offer site search that allows shoppers to zero in on attributes.
Details-and lots of them. "More photos, more narratives, and more photos in context," Mooney said.
Experience by proxy. They want feedback on products and perceptions of someone who has owned the product.
The ability to stop and start their online shopping. "They want to be able to start shopping, do something else, then not have to start over when they come back," Mooney said.
To "act on inspiration." If they see something in one medium, they want to be able to buy it right away, even in another medium.
Gratification at "the point of decision." A solution to that desire is to have immediate inventory availability or the ability to recommend something else if her choice is out of stock. Furthermore, she said, many women mentioned being able to pick up in the store.
Easier gift giving. "They want gift options such as gift registries," Mooney said, especially, she added, gift registries that don’t expire after three months. She cited the case of a woman whose daughter got married. A year later, the woman wanted to buy some china pieces for the daughter, but couldn’t remember the pattern. The bridal gift registry had been removed from the web site after three months.
To be remembered. "They want to see their purchase history, it triggers things for them they may want to buy," Mooney said.
To feel understood. "Go deep qualitatively," she said. For instance, analytics to see behavior is not enough, she said, because analytics programs don’t answer the why or the what if.

In answer to a question from the audience, Mooney noted that women like editorial content at sites if "the editorial content is separate and distinct and adds value to the site’s content."

Understanding what women want from a shopping experience is important, Mooney noted, because while they make up 51% of the population, women account for 83% of retail spending. They are responsible for 60% of online spending. Making their shopping simpler is important, she noted, because many are multi-tasking while they are shopping online. For instance, 65% occasionally or regularly watch TV while online and 71% have a child on their lap or nearby while they are online.

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