We’re heading out to the SHOT Show in Las Vegas today, the world’s largest gun industry trade show. Manufacturers and distributors from all over the world are exhibiting to show retailers, shooting professionals, law enforcement, media and more their latest and greatest products that improve shooting sports and self protection.
This is our first SHOT Show since launching Shoots N Giggles, and we’re excited to see what the industry has to offer specifically to women shooters. We launched our company in late 2016 because we felt and saw that the industry was grossly under-serving women, despite women being the fastest growing demographic of gun owners in the world. As we browsed through this year’s show exhibitor list and looked at the marketing materials we’ve been emailed since registering as an attendee, it still doesn’t seem the industry gets it.
Firearms industry manufacturers aren’t effectively marketing to women. They simply don’t get the fact that we are not all hunters or “tactical babes” that are only interested in the latest AR. While those are cool and all, the vast majority of women are buying guns for personal and family self-defense, and that means handguns. Even the ads we’ve seen featuring women are clearly geared towards men. The women are objectified as sexy gun girls, often pouting and at times almost straddling the firearm in the advertisement. Look, we’re sexy – no doubt, and we know it. But you’re not going to sell us a gun, ammunition or anything else if we can’t identify with your marketing.
Enough said about the marketing materials. We’ll see if the industry really does get it once we’re walking around the show. But if our retail shopping experience has been any indication, we have reserved optimism. Walk into just about any firearms or firearms accessory retailer, and you won’t see much catering to women in terms of products, customer service or otherwise. Yeah, maybe they’ll have a pistol with a pink grip or pink range glasses, or a pink camouflage range bag – if you’re lucky. Chances are that’s it. And even better chances are the staff will have NO idea of the challenges, issues and desires specific to the average female shooter. They THINK they know, but they rarely do.
We hope that’s starting to change in the firearms industry as the demographic growth continues to encourage and demand it. We at Shoots N Giggles actively consult with retailers and ranges to help them better understand this valuable customer base and how to most effectively target and cater to women for increased revenue and customer loyalty. SOME get it. And we see those retailers are benefitting financially from understanding how to market to the female customer, but we also know there’s more work to be done. We’re looking forward to this week’s SHOT Show, and stay tuned for updates, observations and hopefully some great new products and information to share!