They go by the name Digital Divas, and for good reason: Among those women who are shopping online, Digital Divas are easily the savviest, posting, texting and tweeting their way to smart deals across categories. To what lengths will they go? Get this. We recently spoke to a Diva who purchased an American Chopper from Taobao, an eBay-like site in China.
But Digital Divas are not just after high-tickets items. Surveys suggest, for example, that they’re twice as likely to use social networks to engage with hair, skin and baby care brands as they are with fashion brands. This challenges the conventional belief that FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brands have a more limited role to play online, or that less “sexy” brands have a tougher time engaging women in the digital domain. In fact, it can be the other way around. Sexy doesn’t always equal savvy.
And in Divas’ eyes, a brand isn’t digitally savvy merely because it has a Facebook or Twitter presence, a whiz-bang game or gap, or another brand-sponsored discussion forum. No, the hippest brands are those that curate, facilitate and seamlessly sync the online and offline experiences. They solve problems rather than simply spark friendships. They’re also the brands dealing in Divas’ currency of choice—social currency. They create content that enhances Divas’ experience with a product—an experience that continues well beyond a transaction.
For more on what these brands do, check out our Savvy Six:
Curate — While Divas say shopping with their digital devices makes them more informed, efficient and productive, they also admit being overwhelmed by digital options. According to the Digital Divas study that was just released at the 60th International Festival of Creativity, more than 1 in 3 Divas say digital devices have complicated the shopping process versus simplifying it. As a result they give kudos to those brands that provide filters or an editorial lens that simplifies their decision-making process and puts some of the therapy back into retail therapy.
Facilitate — Basics matter more than bells and whistles to Divas. That’s why brands that make the shopping experience—from the finding of a product to its purchase to its possible return—a seamless one will usually win with Divas.
Solve Problems — Divas don’t necessarily want to be friends with brands through social networks. They want brands that provide content enriching their experience with the products. They want brands that resolve customer service issues. They want utility from brands in the social space. Tok&Stok delivered the world’s first furniture assembly guide in a single Tweet, for example. For Divas, that’s being savvy.
Synchronize — Divas want relevant content that bridges the digital and physical worlds. Nivea’s solar-powered print ad does just that, enabling mobile phones to charge via solar power. Such engagement connects the real world to the digital one.
Deal in Social Currency — Digitally savvy brands enable Divas to use their social currency as real currency—to pay with tweets, posts and shares, for example. Among Divas (and perhaps other shoppers) expect a rise in the prevalence of social currency platforms like Popular Pays, a Chicago startup.
Enhance the Experience — With an increasing number of Divas buying online, retail stores are transforming from points of sale to points of experience; from shops to showrooms and experience lounges. In the future, marketers won’t just be designing ads to display product selections in store, they’ll be designing the stores themselves. The store will become the message; not just an environment for it. And more of the digital content brands create will focus on enhancing the experience with their products, not just making a sale.
Ultimately, the most digitally savvy brands aren’t necessarily the most tech-savvy. They are not as concerned about showing off their digital prowess as they are about helping Divas show off theirs. In essence, making Divas look like the masters of the digital universe they are.
Dayna Dion is a journalist and Cultural Strategy Director for Ogilvy & Mather.
[Flickr image by pinksherbet]