January 23, 2024


How to Ensure Inclusive On-Site Ecommerce Personalisation for All Gender Identities


Joshua Hobson

It’s crucial for ecommerce businesses to adapt and be mindful of the diverse needs and preferences of their customer base. One of the significant shifts in consumer behaviour we've witnessed in recent years is the growing awareness and acceptance of diverse gender identities. How can on-site personalisation be inclusive of this?

Gen Z, in particular, has paved the way for a more inclusive approach, with studies showing that they are twenty times more likely than older generations to identify as gender non-conforming

Furthermore, the rise of gender-less fashion, embraced not only by LGBTQ+ communities but also by individuals outside these groups, underscores the need for ecommerce platforms to be more inclusive in their personalisation strategies. This shift is not just a trend; it represents a fundamental change in consumer behaviour that could translate into a market share gain of up to $120 billion. 

In this blog post, we will explore why gender inclusivity is crucial for ecommerce UX and what steps brands can take to ensure their on-site personalisation caters to all gender identities.

Why does gender inclusivity matter in ecommerce?

1) Diversity is the norm

The acceptance of diverse gender identities is a reflection of our evolving society. Embracing this diversity not only aligns businesses with societal values but also opens up opportunities to tap into a broader customer base.

2) Beyond androgyny

Gender inclusivity does not mean eradicating the distinction between masculine and feminine clothing. It's about providing a platform where customers can make choices free from imposed gender norms. It’s about giving everyone the freedom to express their identity through fashion.

3) The market potential

The economic potential of embracing gender diversity is immense. As more individuals seek gender-neutral options, businesses that adapt their strategies stand to gain financially. This shift represents not just a change in wardrobe choices but also a transformation in the way we perceive and engage with fashion.

What can brands do to make their on-site experience more inclusive?

1) Rethink product organisation

Instead of categorising products by gender, consider organising them by functionality, style, or occasion. This approach allows customers to explore items based on their needs and preferences rather than being limited by traditional gender norms.

2) Eliminate gendered imagery and language

Remove gendered imagery and language from marketing materials. Instead of focusing on gender-specific advertising, create campaigns that celebrate diversity and inclusivity, resonating with a wide range of audiences.

3) Embrace behavioural segmentation

Move away from demographic-based segmentation. Behavioural segmentation, which focuses on understanding customer behaviour and preferences, provides a more accurate way to tailor personalised experiences without relying on gender stereotypes.

4) Prioritise search, and use unisex categories

Make search functionality prominent on your platform. Additionally, introduce a unisex category alongside traditional men’s and women’s sections. This allows customers to navigate products without the constraints of gender labels.

5) Ensure diverse representation

Feature diverse models in your product imagery and photography. Representation matters, and seeing a variety of gender identities in your marketing materials helps create an inclusive environment for all customers.

6)  Address bias in AI personalisation

Regularly reset AI personalisation algorithms to prevent the perpetuation of biases. Ensure that your technology is trained to recognise and respect the diversity of your customer base.

7) Avoid unnecessarily gendered products

Ensure that product recommendations are not needlessly gendered, especially for items designed to be unisex. Tailor suggestions based on individual preferences and purchase history rather than predefined gender categories.

Final thoughts

Embracing gender inclusivity in ecommerce is not just a trend; it's a fundamental shift that reflects the changing dynamics of our society. By adopting inclusive on-site personalisation strategies, businesses not only cater to gender-diverse customers but also create a shopping experience that is welcoming and inclusive for everyone. 

Within the ecommerce community, we have an opportunity to not only break down barriers for gender-nonconforming individuals but also contribute to a more accepting and equal future for all.

As businesses, it is our responsibility to champion diversity and inclusion, ensuring that every customer feels valued and respected, regardless of their gender identity. By doing so, we not only enhance our bottom line but also contribute to a more equitable world for all.

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