Summary

Women make up 85% of consumers, their needs tend to dictate shopping, and much of it revolves around traditional rather than internet shopping.

More women are moving into the workforce than ever before with an estimated income of $18 trillion globally by 2018.

The retail ETF, XRT’s stock chart shows a regular, reasonably bullish trading pattern.

There have been quite a few articles in the media recently, promoting ‘all online’ shopping companies like Amazon, while relegating the traditional ‘Main Street’ retailer to the dustbin. The reality is that shopping encompasses a lot of needs which are not easily satisfied entirely by online shopping, especially as far as women shoppers are concerned, and their shopping makes up to 85% of all consumer purchases (source Bloomberg). Investors in the retail ETF XRT (which tracks the S&P 500 retail index) seem to agree, with the ETF having developed a recent technical break out on its chart.

The global incomes of women are predicted to reach a staggering $18 trillion by 2018, according to global professional services firm EY.

Women often influence others purchasing behavior, if not as the direct buyer. Women can influence others, their friends and relations, children and the elderly from among their own and extended families. Most women are driven by similar insecurities and needs, and women also have high expectations of having those needs fulfilled in terms of adequate access to products and customer service.

To emphasize why traditional ‘hands on shopping’ will remain important to women especially, here are a few issues with online buying.

Trying It On, For Size And Appeal

We’re not all the same; body sizes and types vary enormously, and so does the difference between manufacturer sizing, and expected and eventually received colors and textures. While many online businesses do offer free returns, that cost has to be factored into their profit as a deduction (which will affect price), and for many working women, sorting all the returns and placing new orders is just too much of a hassle. If we are a shape that warrants checking garment fit and suitability in the mirror first, and we prefer to weigh up the quality and the color of it too, traditional shopping is easiest.

bodyshapes women wikimedia

Online shopping prevents us using our senses. We can sniff leather to check whether what is presented at a premium price is ‘the real deal’, but that choice disappears with online shopping.

leathergoods