Originally Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2010 05:00 PM
Earlier we noted how P&G tapped the BlogHer network to help create viral buzz for its corporate citizenship push around clean water.
The power of BlogHer’s audience can’t be denied; in fact, BlogHer’s own research shows that women control over 80% of the household spending — not exactly chump change, especially when you consider that we’re talking about a $7 trillion U.S. market.
In addition to helping brands such as P&G, BlogHer is trying to establish its own brand by positioning its network as the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online.
Now reaching an estimated 23 million women monthly (according to Nielsen Site Census data for August), BlogHer was founded in 2005 by Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins.
They spent two years bootstrapping their operation before securing three rounds of venture funding, totaling some $15.5 million. The BlogHer network now encompasses more than 25,000 blogs, whose content in turn gets syndicated to sites including iVillage, Yahoo and BravoTV.com.
Besides Procter and Gamble, BlogHer works with major brand marketers including Wal-Mart and Pepsi. To help their marketing partners better understand the family CFO (remember: those mommy and non-mommy bloggers), BlogHer has been polling its members on offline versus online shopping, key data in a down economy.
Although food, parenting and entertainment remain their members’ biggest areas of interest, according to Page, special deals, promoted sales, and discount invitations are the currency that drives engagement and fuels transactions between women and brands. In short, those brands that take the time to better connect with, and understand, the social media savvy woman will profit the most.
“Word-of-mouth is not ephemeral, it’s searchable in blogs and carries social weight,” says Page. As for shopping, “so many e-commerce sites don’t cross-leverage or contextualize – they’re too linear for women, with too many criteria to choose from. Women are inherently social, and a challenge of shopping online is to un-box customer service.”
Moms online are both readers and writers of blogs, with some 54% of women online engaged with blogs (reading and/or blogging), with predictions of growth to 63% by 2014.
BlogHer’s Women, the Web and Their Wallets study also found that:
• Women “can’t live without” their computers and mobile phones, favoring them over passive entertainment devices such as TV;
• Women favor online shopping (as more fast, efficient, informational and economical), with 81% believing online shopping is where to get “the best deal”;
• 62% of respondents think a clean and uncluttered website is crucial to the online shopping experience;
• 49% of women visit a physical store when seeking inspiration, and 67% when looking for context;
• Women prefer to find products online based on aesthetics or home integration, rather than filtering tools that focus on manufacturer features and functions;
• Women prefer to read product information, opinions and reviews online from other users, not companies, with blogs preferred over message boards, forums and social networks for finding product recommendations.
“E-commerce today doesn’t support how women want to find products and make purchase decisions,” says Ilana Westerman, principal at Create with Context, which worked with BlogHer on the research.
“While e-commerce can be fast and efficient when you know exactly what you want, it doesn’t support the way women shop: browsing, window shopping, exploring for new products, and imaging how products would integrate into their lives,” she adds. “E-commerce sites have missed many opportunities to provide women with the shopping experience they want online, and those who design these experiences in the future will win.”
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming, these are important factors for brand marketers targeting women consumers to bear in mind.