Online Business Retailing – Keys to Success in Appealing to Women

Shopping has been an obsession of women across the globe. A new shop in the neighborhood, a new shopping mall in the area, a new brand launched – women are first to know and first to go. When it comes to shopping, women are more organized (45% of women come to retail stores with shopping-lists as compared 27% of men), regularized and they show some definite trends in their buying behaviors. A woman is more likely to spend time in a retail store (29%) as compared to her male counterpart (23%).

Now, let us look at online retailing; a Jupiter Research survey says 60% of U.S. online shoppers are women! Another equally intriguing and related fact is – 92% of UK female Internet users buy products online. Undoubtedly, these figures show that there is an increasing trend amongst women to go for the online option. The question is – do women shop the same way in an online web store as they shop in a retail store?

When a woman visits a retail store she will consider a few factors such as:

• How conveniently the store is located

• Behavior of the staff

• Cleanliness (most of women are obsessed with it)

• Products put at an easy reach so that she can check the label, feel it (if required) and physically compare it with a similar product from a different manufacturer

• Overall aesthetic decoration of the store

• And most importantly – freebies and discounts available with the products

Naturally, the same woman when she would visit an online retail store will look for these factors in her sub-conscious mind. She would love to get the same feeling as she derives from the environment of her favorite retail store. She will unknowingly demand these from your online shopping store.

She would choose to stay and buy from your online web store if you can meet the following:

• Save time: You should give her the navigational freedom and easy roam around options in your store; give her instantly whatever she wants.

• Get a better selection: Your product should be the best in the designated price bracket

• Complete product details: Do not describe your products in single words; give as much detail as possible.

• Better value/offer: Your freebies should be ‘useful’ enough and the discount should be noticeable

• Logistics: You must deliver the product right at her doorsteps and nowhere else!

• Flexible return policy: Many times a woman takes a second opinion and you should respect this nature. Be flexible if she asks you to replace what she has bought.

It is the convenience of shopping from home that drives women to buy online a

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Why We Choose to Serve Small Business Retailers

Making a choice to serve small business retailers was easy for me. This specific business space is one in which I am comfortable, one in which I have faith and trust.

While other software developers and software entrepreneurs are nervous and concerned about size, I am not. To me, small is beautiful. Small is convenient, happy, engaged and empowering.

I have been in the small business software space for thirty years, focused solely on serving retailers of a certain size – usually independently owned stores with no more than, say, ten stores in a group and probably staying away from franchise businesses.

So, why do I like smaller retailers so much to keep my company focused on small rather than big? Does size really matter to a software company or to any company for that matter?

This is a question we confronted recently in a business review where we took some time for introspection about who we are, what we do and why we do what we do.

We genuinely and wholeheartedly believe in small business. Unlike politicians and others who pay lip service to the category, our belief is heart felt.

Smaller retailers play a vital economic role, often punching above their weight in terms of economic contribution.

These retailers play an even more important social role, holding, sharing and even adding to the narrative of communities around the world as well as providing practical support for community based endeavors.

Smaller retailers help local shoppers with a level of personal service which leads to better buying decisions.

We like these points, especially that small businesses and small business retailers in particular are more like to uphold and carry forward local customs, beliefs and stories. They support the,local voice. This is why this marketplace and business size are important in countries like Australia and New Zealand. They push back on globalisation and the dilution of the local voice to a whisper.

Whereas with big business retailers you are dealing with a person representing a corporation and focused on the goals of the corporation, in smaller businesses you are dealing with the owner or someone very close to the owner, reflecting the personal and connected nature of the business and the community in which its serves.

We also feel that we can contribute more to the community and the economy by working with small business retailers. We are happy with our track record in this regard since starting in business in 1981.

So, yes, we enjoy serving in our chosen business size niche and remaining a business of this size ourselves. This is where we think we can actively contribute and do the most good.

The value of a business is not only about financial performance. Its contribution to community is, in our view, equally if, not more, important.

There was a time when small was almost considered a dirty word in business. Not any more. This is the time of small business. It is a niche in which many of us choose to remain. It is a place of profitable businesses and businesses making a genuinely valuable economic and social contribution.

We returned from our introspection about our size and focus renewed in our belief in and commitment to small business retailers and our work with them.

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