For far too long brands have often underestimated the buying power of black women, myopically seeing their worth only within the hair and beauty industry. However, times are changing and brands can no longer ignore the power of black consumers unless they are intentionally remaining ignorant to how commerce, especially e-commerce, is evolving. Especially with the growth of access to e-commerce over the last 12+ years, we are now distinctly able to see the power of black dollars and pounds, especially within luxury, fashion, e-commerce products.
But exactly how much is the world of e-commerce changing?
When it comes to shopping, 67% of Millennials prefer to do so online. Both Millennials and Gen-Xers spend 50% more time doing so compared to older generations, which is drastically different from the generations above. To capitalise on sales, companies have had to pivot to prioritising the digital experiences of their audiences. Especially with the effects of the pandemic, our consistent UX research demonstrates trends that we can expect to see long term, and that user-friendly convenience categorically breeds brand loyalty.
Millennials are one of the most diverse generations, second only to Zoomers. When it comes to demographics, low-income, black and Hispanic groups are among the fast-growing populations in terms of online purchasing and these numbers continues to grow. With the type of consumer changing, so are their expectations and relationships with brands.
Brands need to wake up to the power and influence of black voices in the digital world, if they haven’t already, as it is proven to be something that should not be underestimated
In early May of 2021, the world renowned musician Nicki Minaj broke the internet … again. Which is no surprise because of level of fame she garners but in this instance she posted a picture on Instagram, which we now know acted as a teaser to promote upcoming new music. However, in the image, the artist was surrounded by numerous Chanel items and wearing a pair of pink Crocs. Both brands saw a substantial rise in sales within the following 48 hours of the picture being posted, but Crocs especially received a reaction that surprised many.
The Crocs website temporarily crashed and the shoes could only be found in very limited sizes as a result in a 4900% spike in sales of the pink Crocs.
It would be easy to reason that this level of sales is solely due to Minaj’s fame, and despite Crocs themselves attributing the sales spike solely to the publicity from Nicki Minaj, in contrast, an official collaboration between the comfortable shoe brand , and international singer, Justin Bieber was released earlier in the year. Bieber, with 40k+ more Instagram followers than Minaj, did not receive the same level of success with his Crocs collection release. Minaj’s following is predominantly black and female, and the results almost entirely speak for themselves.
Another example is the cult level success of Telfar Clemans. The designer behind the exclusive staple bag of the year. Whilst sales for the Telfar brand increased amidst last year’s call for people to support black-owned businesses through Black Pound/Dollar Day, black people played a crucial role in the brand’s rising in success. Viral dances and songs, created by black men and women, praising the bag via TikTok are still trending almost a year later. And in April 2021, when Guess release a questionably similar bag in their collection for sale, it was the same black demographic to hold the fashion house accountable ripping and profiting off of black creators in which Guess responded by withdrawing the bag for sale.
Rising above the odds, and taking on entrepreneurship
Despite the well known systemic adversity and obstacles black women have to overcome around the world, they are still able to carve a lane when is comes to being entrepreneurs and business owners. Whilst struggling more than their white male counterparts when it comes to funding, black women have been rising in numbers over the last decade. Black women represent 42% of new women-owned businesses (3x the share of the female UK population) and 36% of all black-owned businesses. Not only are they rising within e-commerce, but as consumers of all kinds.
The Black Pound Day movement, popularised in 2020, has shown great success within black owned businesses but many wondered what would happen once the hashtag stopped trending. A year later, it seems that many companies are still living up to expectations. In 2020, luxury chain Nordstrom committed to a five-year plan to promote racial equality. “Delivering $500 million in retail sales from brands owned by, operated by, or designed by Black and/or Latinx individuals by the end of 2025”.
The pandemic has encouraged us to view investing and finance differently.
As previously stated, the younger generations are massively impacting the eCommerce world. But their power doesn’t stop there. With the freedom and ease of mobile applications, more and more Millennials and Zoomers are deciding to invest. The pandemic forced many of us to think outside of the box and black women are becoming more versed within the world of Cryptocurrency. Many black women are using technology to combat financial inequalities. More organisations such as Black Women Crypto are on a mission to create space for black women in this conversation we have been excluded from for so long.
Overcoming the challenge of funding, companies such as Black Ballad have used initiative to run a crowd fund. Their mission was an astounding success, raising £338,582 from 1396 black women and allies.
At TechTee we acknowledge the power of black women as consumers
One of the things that make us unique as an agency is that not only are we are run by creative developers and thinkers, but we are also black-owned and female-led. We have a clear understanding of the needs of all consumers, and pay attention to that of demographics that are commonly ignored elsewhere, such as black women.
We persistently research consumers, especially those from that are underrepresented, in order to design and build inclusive digital products for everyone.
If you’d like to discuss anything from this article or you’d simply like to learn more about TechTee and how we can help you, contact us here.