Wired Woman [adjectival noun]
Digitally confident, hyper-connected, socially influential, and device-laden, über online shopper.
Women are fast becoming one of the largest economic forces in the world. It’s estimated that women control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending, a figure that could climb to $28 trillion by 2020.
Within this group, there is a growing percentage of highly influential, digitally empowered women shaping trends for online behavior. We call them “Wired Women.” And nowhere are these women more digitally savvy than in China, where a staggering 15 percent said they would rather give up seeing their families for a month than their mobile phones.
China’s Wired Women comprise 18 percent of the female Chinese population: That’s about 115 million women who are at the forefront of digital adaptation, evolution, and trendsetting for the rest of China. Savvy brands that understand China’s Wired Women are set to take advantage of one of the biggest opportunities.
But how can brands access China’s Wired Women? To start, we’ve identified three of their key consumer behaviors: Self-Education, Demonstration, and Management.
China’s Wired Women want it all, and that requires a lot of input, from goods and services to the provision of advice. The Internet has become the most important channel for them to self-educate. More than half (57 percent) will compare products and prices on social media before they buy (a percentage that soars even higher for highly involved categories), and 60 percent of Chinese women consult online reviews at least once a month.
The beauty industry and the Internet seem to go hand-in-hand, and Chinese Wired Women are especially review hungry: 60 percent will consult a beauty review each month and two-thirds, compared to 40 percent in America, relied on online recommendations to purchase a beauty product.
But it’s more than just choosing what to buy. China’s Wired Women also use the Internet to modify their behaviors. Brands must therefore recognize Wired Women’s desire for knowledge and help curate the conversation online.
China’s Wired Women are keen to portray idealized versions of themselves online, so don’t be surprised if you see a woman in a coffee shop arrange herself and her food for the perfect picture before eating. And that photo’s need for retouching before being uploaded probably explains the 100 million users on the country’s most popular photo editing app, Meitu-xiuxiu, and the subsequent 600,000 retouched photos shared online each day.
This demonstrative, “best self” trend extends far beyond selfies. Management consultants Bain & Co report that female shoppers now make up over half of all Chinese luxury buyers, representing an enormous growth from 1995 (when 90 percent of luxury buyers were male).
Chinese Wired Women may have it all, but having it all often means doing it all. Professional, wife, mother, elderly caretaker, friend, unique individual – a Wired Woman has to maintain multiple personalities both on- and offline. That makes her smartphone her most valuable asset, with apps and additional functionalities popping up to give her access to the goods, services, and information she needs most. Is it any wonder that the productivity apps flooding the Chinese market are also some of the most prolific advertisers?
The opportunity for brands goes beyond beckoning Wired Women to “buy, buy, buy!” By presenting these women with real value, making their lives easier, and saving them time, brands are reaping the devotion and patronage of an ever-expanding market.