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Merchandising for Women

03/24/2015

Numbers don’t lie. According to SIA’s Director of Research, Kelly Davis, women make 80% of household spending decisions and influence 95% of household spending.  Davis presented these findings during the inaugural Industry and Intelligence gathering held the day before the show opened last month in Denver.

During Davis’ Product Category Overview presentation, she reported that sales of women’s specific products rose by 12% over the past year.  Specifically, women’s numbers have experienced growth in both AT and snowboarding categories.

So how do you take those findings and translate them into female friendly visual merchandising at specialty retail?  Well, I like to break it down according to statistics on women’s shopping habits, that is, building a merchandising strategy around key factors that have come to generalize how men and women shop differently.

“Women tend to be more astute consumers than men, simply because they are willing to invest the time and energy necessary to research and compare products. At the same time, their two-sided brain approach to problem solving makes them more susceptible to emotional appeals than a man”, reports website Moneycrashers.com

With this said, merchandising for a female audience needs to accomplish the following things:

  • Convey a visually compelling product story so the shopper can see how products fit into their lifestyle.
  • Be spacious and engaging with lots of options (i.e. cross merchandising).
  • Be well lit as color can easily guide our purchase decisions.

Breaking it down further, this means that mannequins, mirrors, well-lit dressing rooms, props, and clear signage are all important components to successfully merchandise to any gender.

Color

1

As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, color plays an enormous role in several of our everyday buying decisions.  We are attracted to color.  We are repelled by color.  We are emotionally connected to color.

When merchandising to women, keep it colorful.  Offer lots of color options in the form of accessories and add on sale items like hats, footwear – even socks.

2

Hardgoods as props.

With the increased number of female backcountry and snowboarding participants, incorporating hard goods into your merchandising keeps you on top of trends and approachable.  By taking some mystery out of hard goods and using them in displays, you start a conversation that may ultimately lead to a sale.

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Not to mention hardgoods are so dang pretty!

5

Color is vibrant and everywhere – and women love color!!!

6

With spring coming – bikes are always a perfect addition to a women’s display section.

 

7

Mannequins help bring a product story to life and get a woman thinking, “How will this jacket make me feel?”

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If your store has a dedicated children’s section, cross merchandise with an adult mannequin and vice versa – add a youth sized mannequin to any adult display.  This is a great way to nudge shoppers into making additional purchases.  It also helps with that whole “how does this item fit into my lifestyle?”  conversation we women have with ourselves when shopping.

To wrap up, women’s snow sports participation is on the rise when it comes to AT and snowboarding activities.  By breaking down how different pieces work together, plus by adding hard goods, compelling color stories and things like mirrors and a helpful staff, you should be able to easily ride the women’s wave to success!