It’s probably no surprise that women drive most household purchasing decisions.
Women currently control $7 trillion in U.S. spending. In fact, women today account for 85 percent of all purchases and drive 70 to 80 percent of all consumer spending.
And during the next decade, women will control two-thirds of the country’s overall consumer wealth.
In addition, single women are one of the fastest-growing groups of homeowners. According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2019, females comprised 17 percent of home buyers. Compared to their single male counterparts… who accounted for around nine percent.
Women are Into Home Improvement
Notably, women are also the primary decision-makers in the home improvement segment. According to a study from Marketing to Women, home improvement stores Lowe’s and Home Depot report that half of their customers are women. And those women initiate 80 percent of home improvement projects. And spend 50 percent more on purchases at these stores than men do.
Interestingly, Lowe’s was one of the first brands to realize the growing influence of female purchasers. In the early 2000s, the home improvement brand made a concerted effort to attract more female shoppers by creating wider aisles. Adding brighter lighting. And moving more big-ticket items on lower shelves. The company also focused on providing cleaner bathrooms and holding more how-to clinics. This strategy seems to be paying dividends.
Women are Online… Often
When it comes to buying habits, women rely heavily upon the Internet and frequently research product, service and brand information online… prior to making household purchases. In general, women are more likely to read online reviews than men.
Product review platform Influenster reported that 94 percent of women interact with brands online — and 31 percent engage daily with brands digitally — with 90 percent doing so using their mobile phones.
Women are also the biggest users of social media sites, including Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest. What’s more, 83% of adult women use Facebook.
It’s pretty obvious that building product brands — who want to grow their market share — must find ways to reach out to this influential female buying group.
Earning the Trust of Female Purchasers
So, how do brands win over female decision makers? Following are seven strategies to keep in mind when marketing to women:
- Get to know her. It’s important to speak to women authentically. And on their own terms. Women tend to respond better to brands they have a relationship with. They don’t want merely to be “sold” to — but rather, want to feel like the brand has invested in learning what women need and want. And share how their products address those needs.
- Create empathy. While men are generally more transactional — and attracted to status — women are more often motivated by empathy. Women connect through affinity with others and want to belong. And be understood. Brands that make an effort to “walk in a woman’s shoes” — and understand what motivates her — will have an advantage.
- Recognize that she wants to shop around. The majority of women prefer to research products, check online reviews and gather detailed information… prior to making a purchase decision. Women typically view shopping as a journey. As such, they want to feel confident in their decision and that they’ve done their due diligence.
- Make it easy for her. Women generally enjoy being able to explore and imagine the possibilities. However, when they’re ready to make a decision, they don’t want to dig deep to get the information they need. They typically are drawn to brands that offer a carefully edited selection of a few clearly-defined choices. And appreciate tools such as comparison charts — that highlight the features of similar products — simplifying the selection process.
- Understand how women assess value. While price and quality are important factors in women’s purchasing decisions, they are not the only indicators of a product’s value. Women also look at the credibility of a brand. And place importance on testimonials and referrals from friends and family. Women also tend to place a great deal of emphasis on customer service.
- Recognize the importance of brand loyalty. Research from Nielsen Scarborough reports that 85% of women say they will stick with brands that they like. And typically buy from brands that align with their values… are environmentally conscious… and consider the needs of their family.
- There is no “one” female demographic. When marketing to women — it’s important not to generalize — but instead, to recognize a woman’s life stage as well as her chronological age. Each female subgroup has unique interests and values that influence purchasing behaviors. Work-at-home moms, single women and empty nesters… all want to see themselves in a brand’s marketing messages.
Read our white paper, “The CPO of the Home: How Women Influence Home Purchases,” to learn more about how women are re-defining the consumer landscape. And how building product brands can effectively reach and influence this important stakeholder.