Industry

Does Your Archery Shop Target Females? It Should.

Women are a vital market in the outdoors industry. Satisfying their needs can boost your bottom line.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Cassie Scott

Men: Have you entered a shoe store and noticed 80 percent of the inventory is for females? Meanwhile, that small corner in the back is all the room needed for men’s shoes.

When visiting outdoor retail stores, you’ll notice the inventory mix is the opposite. Market surveys, however, show that if you make females a priority, you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

 

Trust the Facts

If your archery store’s inventory is lopsided toward males, you might want to rethink your marketing strategies. Consider these facts:

–  51 percent of outdoor consumers are women.
–  34 percent of the 23.8 million Americans who shot archery in 2015 were female.
–  The number of women hunters increased 85 percent in recent years, climbing from 1.8 million in 2001 to 3.3 million in 2013.
–  The purchasing power of women in the United States ranges from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually.
–  9 percent of women identify themselves as their household’s primary shopper.
–  60 percent of moms believe organic foods are better for their family’s health.

So, what does all that mean? One, your market has more female archers than ever. Two, women have money and they’re prepared to spend it. Three, most women make their household’s buying decisions. And four, mothers want to feed their families organic foods. (Venison. Hint! Hint!)

In other words, women are valuable customers with lots of spending potential. Overlook them at your peril. Do not force them to shop in the back 20 percent of your store. If you want more customers and greater cashflow, make women a priority.

Use these strategies to win your female customers’ minds and trust.

Unfortunately, beginners can be intimidated by the products and other customers in archery stores. To boost sales, customers must feel welcome at your shop and comfortable asking questions about your products. Photo Credit: ATA.

Make Females Feel Comfortable

Unfortunately, beginners can be intimidated by the products and other customers in archery stores. To boost sales, customers must feel welcome at your shop and comfortable asking questions about your products. McKinsey found 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how customers think they’re being treated. If they feel respected, you’ll earn their business.

Approach customers with a smile, introduce yourself, offer your help, and make a genuine connection. Establishing rapport is vital to sales. Retailers must put aside biases and listen to customer’s wishes and questions. Use that knowledge to identify products and equipment they’ll love.

 

Women’s Section to the Front!

If you dedicate only 20 percent of your space to females, that’s fine. Just don’t hide it in the back and make them search for it. Design your floorplan so the women’s section is near the front. This strategy instantly connects you to women by making them feel they belong. It also promotes more sales. A Wharton study, “Men Buy, Women Shop,” found women are happy to wander around before buying because they’re more invested in the shopping experience.

Consider what happens when a man enters your shop with his wife and daughter. The females will likely browse the women’s section for interesting products. Maybe they’ll find something to buy. Meanwhile, the husband will likely blaze through the section with blinders on, focused on his mission. A Deakin University article describes men as “pragmatic shoppers.” They like to go in, get what they need and leave. Rearrange your shop with female shoppers in mind. Your male customers probably won’t notice, so no harm done.

Approach customers with a smile, introduce yourself, offer your help, and make a genuine connection. Establishing rapport is vital to sales. Photo Credit: ATA.

Stock Quality Women’s Products

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, women look for value, quality and comfort when buying outdoor products. They aren’t as interested as most males in a product’s technical features. Keep equipment handy for women to try, and sell high-quality clothing and equipment designed for them.

And it doesn’t need pink accents. Although pink attracts some females to some products, it won’t attract them all. In the article “How Do Women Really Feel About Pink Camo?” writer Amy Hatfield notes that no survey or consumer research on women’s buying motives substantiates they like pink-accented products. In fact, Hatfield found most women don’t rank pink as a favorite color. They prefer blue, followed by purple and green.

 

Host Women’s Events

Boost your business and your customer base by hosting female-focused events.

  • Invite all ages to “Ladies’ Night” events at your range. Let them know that certified instructors will give lessons and instruction to beginners. Encourage participants to bring friends for an evening of archery fun.
  • Date nights at the range are another good option. Couples often look for fun things to do together. Why not archery? Retailers can provide two-for-one deals on range time, or elaborate love-themed events with Cupid decorations and heart-shaped targets.
  • Introduce females to bowhunting and wild-game cooking through field-to-fork courses. These programs provide social support, and try to boost the participants’ confidence as they learn how to “source” their own meat. The programs also help them see connections between hunting and sustainable organic foods.
  • Partner with your state wildlife agency to host a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman event, which provides a safe, comfortable environment for women to learn fishing and hunting skills. Chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation and other groups offer events for women. The NWTF’s Women in the Outdoors Program, for example, introduces participants to several outdoor activities.

With any introductory archery event, organizers must keep things fun, safe and casual. And be sure to promote your event on social media and other community outlets. As you’ll see, women can offer the archery and bowhunting industry new customers with ample cash. But you must cater to their needs while treating them with respect.

For more information, or help with marketing and programming efforts, contact the ATA’s business and membership office at (866) 266-2776 or info@archerytrade.org.

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