Web designers are kind of like superheroes. They can accomplish things that shouldn’t normally be possible.
For example, it’s possible for a designer to create a website that converts viewers into buyers without spending years studying the psychology of why people buy.
However, a little extra study and understanding can help the Average Joe morph into a Superman-esque designer.
One Important Area of Study
It is possible to design a page that appeals to consumers and meets their psychological buying needs, but can you create something that satisfies both men and women?
Fortunately, the answer is yes – if you address the needs of both genders on the same page.
Catching Their Eye
The rationale that causes men and women to stop and shop are different.
To convert a man into a buyer, his initial glance has to be intriguing enough to warrant a second look. However, men will gamble on the possibilities of what additional pages might bring. A man’s rationale may sound like, ‘I’ll click this page. Maybe it will be worth my time.’
Women are less likely to move off the first page of a website without compelling reasons. In a split second’s time, a woman will evaluate the worth in clicking on; asking ‘Is it worth my time to click to another page?’
To give both men and women a reason to stay on a page, marketers employ a strategy known as storytelling.
Storytelling creates interest for the reader and can generate feelings of goodwill and loyalty towards a company, ultimately converting the reader into a purchaser.
Used correctly, storytelling can be a compelling method of attracting both men and women to a product. Men will absorb the details, but are more concerned with how things end. Women need all of the supporting details to tie together in a well-composed conclusion. To appeal to both, make sure that any storytelling involves a story arc with details and a well-formed conclusion.
Keeping their Attention
Want to know one of the primary motivators for making a purchase? The serviceability over time, or the length of time the product or service will return good value to the purchaser.
Men purchase items to address a current need. They evaluate their purchasing rationale by asking ‘Will this help me now?’ If the answer to that question is yes, men are more likely to pull out their wallet. They are less concerned with how the product will help them in the near future, and considerably less concerned with the distant future.
Women, on the other hand, rationalize their purchase by asking ‘Will this help me today? Tomorrow? Next week?’ If the answer to all three is yes, then, and only then, do women commit to the purchase. Taking a long view, women are concerned with the overall value of a purchase over the life of the item.
For the web designer, this can create a challenge. If your target market is men, sell them on the immediate rewards of the purchase. Chances are good they will forget you once they leave the page, so you must convert them to a sale quickly.
If your target market is women, sell them on the durability of the product over time.
If your target market includes both genders, include indicators that address each aspect of serviceability: today, tomorrow and the future. This can be done through pictures, infographics and testimonials.
Convincing Them to Buy
Not only do men and women shop differently, they react to the buying habits of their peers differently. To convince either sex to complete a purchase, the web designer has to appeal to their innate need for the approval of others.
The secret to targeting men on a website is to demonstrate that they can make independent decisions, and still be part of the crowd. The male shopper likes to know that there was a successful purchase for someone else. His thinking would be, ‘That guy liked it; I should too.’
Women also want reassurance that other people are making similar purchases, but they want to know the items are being use for the same reason; their need for conformity is more specific. A female shopper would think, ‘She was able to remove the grape juice stain from her white carpet; it should work for me too.”
Use images and testimonies that prove other successful purchases have taken place. Let the buyers feel like they are part of a group.
Testing and Evaluating
Perhaps the most beneficial suggestion is to seek advice from members of your target market.
Monica Eaton-Cardone, a direct response advertising expert, said: “When you look at the relationship between merchants and consumers, it makes sense to encourage more women into higher-level positions…it’s women who represent the largest section of consumer spending, and yet, the majority of people making decisions in merchant companies are men.”
Male web designers would benefit from some feedback from the female population. Whether suggestions come from female consumers or other designers, advice and suggestions should be well received.
Next, engage in A/B testing. Carefully review analytic data and determine which styles and techniques are best for each sex.
Designing a webpage that appeals to both men and women can be challenging, but with creativity and planning, a site can generate business from both sexes.