It’s a huge misconception that men buy more tech devices than women, claims a tech fan.
BC: Hi, you seem deep in thought.
AD: I came across an interesting discussion on Facebook — a couple of friends were pretty peeved that a site had segregated its products through separate sections for men and women.
BC: So where's the problem?
AD: Apparently the women's section featured only lifestyle, fashion, healthcare and personal care products, while the men's section had electronics, technology and a whole lot of other categories.
BC: Why? Because men invest more in technology than women?
AD: You're wrong — there's a lot of research online which shows that women buy more electronic goods and gizmos than we think.
BC: Is that so?
AD: Absolutely! In fact, reports also show that they download more movies and music, and spend more time playing games online or on their gaming consoles.
BC: In that case, why is it that technology is automatically deemed a male domain?
AD: One reason could be because technology's generally considered a geek's world — and one rarely comes a female geek. Also, technology has been pioneered mostly by men.
BC: But what about women like Radia Perlman? Isn't she referred to as the 'mother of the Internet'?
AD: That's right, and there have been many women, from Carly Fiorina, who headed Hewlett-Packard, to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, who've made a name for themselves in the tech world.
BC: So why aren't brands taking note of this fact?
AD: Some did, but were off by a long way. A few years ago, Dell had come up with a site exclusively for women called Della.
BC: Was that their idea of adding femininity to the brand Dell?
AD: Whatever, but the site offered netbooks specially made for women. And it also gave them tips on all their favourite topics — health, yoga, meditation and food — to facilitate online shopping and downloads.
BC: In other words, everything that women are 'supposed' to do with a laptop.
AD: That's right. But after the scathing criticism that followed, they apologised and amended the site to be more inclusive of tech topics.
BC: Guess the popular misconception of 'make it in pink so she'll buy it' has affected many.
AD: This extends to social media as well.
BC: What do you mean?
AD: A report has revealed that women in the U.S. use social media more than men. In fact, they vastly outnumber the number of men on Pinterest. So, with each brand increasingly looking towards social media to reach out to their target audience, this skew towards men is shocking.
AD: This goes for mobile, laptops and tablets too, where women are outshopping men.
BC: I'm sure it's quite different in India.
AD: We still have some distance to catch up, but you can see the number of women owning mobile phones and tablets on the rise... In fact, a survey conducted in the U.K. shows that women have made more purchases using their smartphones than men have.
AD: Yes, incidentally, women also download more apps than men, and use these apps — and the devices they've purchased — more often than men do.
BC: Is there anything at all where men are ahead?
AD: Yes, LinkedIn has more male users than…
BC: So what about that famous theory about women being more compulsive shoppers in stores?
AD: Women have found out ways of using technology even when they shop in physical stores.
BC: Like what?
AD: They are more likely to use their camera phones and take snaps of a product to check with a friend or to compare prices online. They also make better use of the QR technology to learn more about the product.
BC: So future versions of games like Modern Combat and Battlefield could feature an all-woman team.
AD: It's possible — as long as the makers take care they don't dress them up in pink camouflage and send them into action with pink guns.