Women Buy iPhones The Way Men Buy Shoes

Maybe that’s why they lead consumer technology purchases in three of four top categories.
Listen to this conversation with Marti Barletta for some other surprising facts for retailers.

In celebration of the release of the iPhone 6, I had a conversation with Marti Barletta, the world’s foremost expert on marketing to women, about how women buy technology. You can listen to the entertaining discussion below. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Women buy more cell phones, computers, and tablets than men do. Men buy more flat-screen televisions.
  • Women are just as likely to buy iPhones as men, but much less likely to stand in line for them. Instead, they research, plan, and choose the most convenient way to buy.*
  • As Best Buy learned, when it comes to technology, men window-shop, but women head straight for the checkout line. It’s exactly the opposite of the way that men and women buy shoes. Count your purchasers, not your browsers, when evaluating your customers.
  • Best Buy also learned that optimizing stores for women increased sales.
  • When it comes to deciding factors of a purchase, women know what they want and are willing to wait for it — sometimes to hilarious lengths.
  • Buying an iPhone, tablet, or computer is like buying a Barbie® — it’s no good without the high-margin accessories.
  • Women could save RadioShack. Really.
  • Women with the most disposable income are the audience most likely to be ignored by retailers.
  • Half the battle for women’s untapped dollars is won by how you market to women. The other half is won by how well you train your retail staff.

The marketing failures in the story are amusing to women, but painfully expensive to the businesses making these unwitting mistakes. If you want to turn those mistakes into higher sales, contact me.

*You’ll notice that in the photo above, very few women are standing in line to buy phones. Yet half of all iPhone purchasers are women.

I also challenge anyone with time on their hands to find a stock photo of women shopping for technology. Time-saving hint: you can’t. But you can find hundreds of images of smiling women in white kitchens, holding credit cards aloft in a very artificial way while looking at laptops. Many of them are wearing yoga pants, which is a sure sign of technological expertise. Go us!



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