Over the years, the economic empowerment of women has intensified. Today, women control a significant percentage of the world economy. According to a research report by Frost & Sullivan, the global female income was at $24 Trillion in 2020. As a market, women represent a large opportunity beyond even their income levels. The report by Frost & Sullivan further put the global female spending at $43 Trillion. This is at almost double their income level. The level of spending by women has over the years surpassed that of the economic powerhouses of China and India combined. As such, smart businesses cannot ignore the contribution of women to the global economy, Africa’s economy, and Kenya’s economy. In Africa, the female income and level of spending are considered to be growing much faster than in other parts of the globe. As such, businesses need to pay more attention to the female economy.
Globally, women consumers drive the beauty, fitness, clothing, food, health care and financial services industries. At the household level, women are the key decision-makers. Their decisions influence almost every buying decision. Most of us have witnessed our mothers, sisters, wives making purchases for most household items from groceries to furniture. Women are also known to be influencing big-ticket purchases. They influence the choice of schools, colleges, and the buying of homes. It is for this reason that smart businesses must pay more attention to the increasing economic power of women. Businesses must be intentional about focusing their product development and marketing efforts on the female economy.
Do businesses understand the female consumer?
Women consumers are considered a little different from their male counterparts. While men make decisions based on data and facts, women are seen to make decisions largely based on emotions. Are businesses addressing women concerns in the market place? Are they taking time to study the behaviours of consumers based on gender? Are they offering products and services for men and women differently or are they lumping them together? Businesses must ask themselves some pertinent questions – What do female consumers like? What don’t they like? It is not enough to make a product offering in pink. Businesses need to address the specific pains of their female consumers.
To survive, businesses need to appreciate the women markets. As a financial services provider, what products or services have you tailor-made for women? As a provider of health and fitness services, what unique needs have you identified for your female consumers? Businesses that will effectively meet the needs of the female consumer are likely to win in the marketplace. We need more and more businesses to make it easier for women as consumers. Maybe your industry needs different products and services for females and males. I look forward to the day we will have women-friendly garages, women-friendly restaurants, women-friendly stockbrokers, women-friendly gyms, women-friendly public transport vehicles, women-friendly colleges, women-friendly social clubs. Make your female consumers feel special, they will stay on with you and bring others with them.
Dr Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy