Early Adopters Are Men? That's Ridiculous, Says Sephora CMO

4660244563_ff0a68d095_z.jpg

Companies that persist in picturing early adopters as exclusively male are missing out on massive business opportunities, claims Sephora's CMO. By Jessica Stillman (Editor, Women 2.0)

Who's the stereotypical early adopter of tech innovations? For the answer look no further than satirical Tumblr 'White Guys Wearing Google Glass.' This white dude image might not be correct (in fact an African-American man is apparently one of the most prolific Google Glass testers, and plenty of women are trying it if not necessarily loving it) but it is the kneejerk picture that pops into many heads when they hear the phrase.

But not only is that image of early adopters totally wrong, writes Sephora CMO Julie Bornstein on Business Insider this week, it's also terrible business. Thankfully, the stereotype is slowing starting to erode, she writes, due to the compelling case for viewing women as just as likely to be in the tech vanguard:

The perception that men are always the early tech adopters is definitely shifting as women get increasingly technologically savvy.

Women are embracing technology to make our lives easier.

Savvy retailers get this. They are tailoring in-store and online technologies to the needs, tastes and interests of the consumers who will appreciate them the most: women.

In turn, women are drawn even more to brands that use technology to enhance the shopping experience. Call it a virtuous cycle…. Today, women comprise one of the fastest growing demographics of Internet and technology users, with some 87 million women between 18 and 76 online according to a BlogHer study. With that, women have become top mobile commerce adopters as well.

Women (56 percent) spend more time visiting retail sites on mobile devices than men (43 percent), according to comScore.

How can companies looking to sell to these decidedly non-mythical female early adopters best appeal to them? Bronstein offers three pieces of advice in the complete post.

Women 2.0 readers: Do you think companies are still leaving money on the table by failing to serve female early adopters?

Jessica Stillman is an editor at Women 2.0 and a freelance writer with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She writes a daily column for Inc.com and has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM and Brazen Careerist, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @entrylevelrebel. Photo credit: ElizabethHudy via Flickr