Almost 85 percent of women make purchasing decisions for their entire household, but as a demographic that encompasses many different lifestyles from stay-at-home moms to businesswomen, businesses marketing to women are increasingly struggling to reach the demographic. So what are women looking for in a product or service today? Here are five trends businesses need to know before starting a female-focused marketing strategy.
Over half of all families share shopping responsibilities.
While women are traditionally the family members that notice when the toilet paper is low, almost 60 percent of families divide shopping responsibilities between more than one person, according to Forbes. While more shoppers tend to mean more sales, that also presents a challenge to tracking shopping patterns. Marketing industry specialist Cassandra Moren recommends businesses consider loyalty programs that track households as a whole.
Men are actually outspending women in apparel.
A recent study showed that the idea of women loving shopping more then men is actually just a stereotype — men actually spend more on apparel and shoes by about $10 every month. In the apparel industry, menswear is expected to grow at nearly twice the rate of women’s over the next few years.
Age is no longer a good indicator of life stages.
The workforce is undoubtably changing — over 40 percent of mothers are now the primary (or only) source of income in the U.S., for example, with women making up 47 percent of the workforce. As more women enter the workforce, age isn’t as accurate at predicting life stages anymore. More women are becoming wives and mothers later in life — while older women also often buck the trend and go back to college or start a new career or business venture. The bottom line? Checking that age option when purchasing a Facebook add doesn’t necessarily reach your target demographic every time.
Birth rates are down, but spending is up.
According to Forbes, while birth rates are down as families trend towards the smaller side, spending is actually up. Moms (and dads) spend more on their kids than they did even just a few years ago. Along with trends towards higher kid-related spending, more products are defying traditional age gaps — like adults buying high-end sneaker brands and kids using smartphones and tablets. Brands that offer products and services that encompass a wide age gap could see potential growth, Forbes suggests.
Today’s workforce includes more women then ever before.
As the workplace gender gap closes, Forbes suggests that women have a different attitude towards products. Convenience will play a big role in the purchases made by women, as well as what’s businesses they pass during their commute.
Identifying an audience is an essential step to creating an effective marketing campaign — but “women” isn’t a very specific demographic — encompassing moms, working women, CEOs and retirees, just to name a few. Staying up to date on the latest trends helps businesses identify ways to reach their target audience and grow.