How can your business get more effective at selling to women? Try focusing on social recommendations. A study by Ladies’ Home Journal reported in Adweek found that female shoppers value peer opinions over any kind of paid placement—and the vast majority of those surveyed said the experience of someone they knew directly led to a purchase decision.
Nearly eight in 10 (79 percent) of women report they’ve made a purchasing decision based on the experience of someone they know. In fact, 74 percent say their buying decisions are regularly affected by what their peers say about products and services.
Eighty-two percent of women say they often share their opinions on products and services, and more than half (52 percent) say they were inspired to consider a new product or service in the past few months due to conversations with friends.
Women trust peers’ recommendations far more than other sources of information. 84 percent say peer opinions are a trusted resource, compared to 69 percent who trust branded websites and 60 percent who trust magazine ads. Banner ads were the least-trusted source of information (42 percent).
In addition, women seek out recommendations for all types of purchases. Whether they’re considering buying food and beverages, travel products and services, cars or home furnishings, more than 60 percent of women turn to friends for recommendations.
Armed with this knowledge, how can you get better at selling to women?
- Use social media. The study didn’t specify whether the peer recommendations were in-person or online. Since most women interact with friends and family frequently on social media, your business needs a presence there to get them talking about you. Encourage customers to post pictures of themselves using or wearing your product or to write online reviews of your business.
- Get testimonials. For certain businesses, such as home or personal services, customer testimonials can be a great marketing tool. Ask satisfied customers if they’re willing to share a sentence or two about why they love your business, product or service, a problem it helped them solve or how it’s made their life better. Post testimonials on your website and share them on social media.
- Ask for referrals. Develop a referral program to get women to recommend your business to a friend. You can get more referrals by offering something of value, such as a chance to be entered in a drawing for a prize in return for giving a friend’s contact info, or a percentage or dollars-off discount if a referred customer actually makes a purchase.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.