We huddled around the kitchen table of a two-bedroom walk up near Chicago’s north side to catch a glimpse of an It Girl’s prized possession. “It’s something very personal. I mean, I won’t say it’s like my boyfriend, but it’s something special to me. I cannot live without it. I mean, trust me on this. I don’t care about lipstick and stuff. For me, this is it.” This is Kunjana’s mobile phone, her “right hand woman,” and Kunjana is a Digital Diva, among the most digitally connected and addicted women on the planet–self-described digital junkies, losing up to four hours of sleep a night to their glowing screens while they seek, share and shop in entirely new ways.
A brand new Ogilvy & Mather and Microsoft study of more than 9,000 women worldwide–from Chicago to Shanghai–reveals how Divas are leading a cross-channel shopping revolution. They’re far more likely than other online women to report digital tools and technology have transformed how they shop for everything from haircare to hotels, and where Divas go, other women follow.
Digital Divas are transforming shopping from solo act to public performance, recreational adventure to extreme sport and open-ended expedition to cool, calculated mission. They challenge assumptions about how women use digital tools and technology to shop, especially for everyday household items. Digital tools and technology have changed the way they shop for home fragrance, food and feminine hygiene products as much or more than they have for handbags, and Divas are nearly twice as likely to report using mobile phones and social networks to shop for personal and baby care products as they are for fashion and accessories.
Divas challenge the conventional notion that women tap digital devices and destinations mainly for “bigger ticket” purchases. Their digital devices act as shopping muses, buddies, negotiators and dealmakers or breakers in grocery and pharmacy aisles, not just between clothing racks or on showroom floors. Digital Divas’ devices are their ‘personal shopping assistants.’ They’ve edged out customer service agents and even shopping buddies in category after category. The digital stakes for brands have never been higher.
With social networks at least twice the size of other women’s, Divas wield influence and have the power to make or break a brand, online and off. They don’t suffer fools and won’t go for gimmicks. What makes a brand most digitally savvy in Divas’ eyes isn’t just a Facebook profile, an app or a game. The brands winning with Divas are those creating or curating the best content and serving it up in contextually relevant ways, regardless of the category in which they compete. The brands Divas talk and Tweet about are those connecting the digital dots—inspiring, organizing and streamlining their shopping missions, not getting in the way of them.
Dayna Dion is a journalist and Cultural Strategy Director for Ogilvy & Mather.
[Crown: Everett Collection via Shutterstock]