Who holds the wallet? She does!

Woman buying a car

It should come as no surprise that women are earning and spending more than ever before, but did you realise that women account for 85% of ALL consumer purchases – including everything from autos to healthcare? Have a look around – notice who's doing the spending…

If you still think it's a pretty even split, check out these staggering numbers:

Over 70% of grocery and home supplies shopping is done by women
And it's not because society is stuck in the middle ages and picking out the best pieces of meat to put on her husband's plate is the highlight of a woman's day. It's actually quite the opposite. As time moves forward, so do the women in Australia – a home, family, career, time for themselves and for side projects – there is so much to fit in 24 hours. The best way to make this all work is to time manage and optimise to the brink of perfection. And maybe you haven't thought about it that way before, but grocery shopping is a key element here. Buying the wrong products or even the right ones but a couple of hours too late can easily mess up the entire plan, so most ladies prefer not to take a chance and deal with it themselves. Or at least write their men a very detailed and clear shopping list. Which should probably still count as something in the line of “surrogate shopping” and bring points to the XX chromosome team.

Women make most of the decisions relating to free-time
Exotic vacations, around the world trips or weekend getaways- yes, please, yes to all of them. Bring on all those picnic ideas, paintball suggestions, wine tasting clubs and yoga classes. Women love going through all their options and making the absolute most out of them. Whether it's the family trip or regular kids activities – trust the female mind to make the decisions. Although at first glance both sexes have equal say in how they spend their free time, practice shows that more and more often it is the ladies that take charge in this department. How much more often? Well, in about 65% percent of the time and the number rises by 1% each year.

Women purchase more than twice as much fashion (no surprises there!)
This is way too obvious, but still- nearly 70% of the fashion world exists for the sole purpose of taking up space in women's wardrobes. The difference is not that drastic in the clothes department, but when it comes to shoes, bags, jewelry or whatever other accessories you can think of, there's only one true king of the jungle and it's actually a queen. And she's roaring fiercely, because even though half the forest is her closet, she still has nothing to wear!

How about online shopping vs. retail
Remember that 2:1 ratio from just above? We're still working with the same numbers here.
Whether it's a virtual or an actual marketplace, you have your 65-70% female customers vs. 30-35% male. There is something to be said from a behavioral point of view though. While many men tend to jump at the first, or one of the first three options that fit their criteria, women usually go hunting and wind up with numerous options, often in the double digits, to choose from.

What about more male domains?
Women are having more of an influence here as well with some studies showing that women buy more than half of the cars in the US, arrange service around 65% of the time, and have an influence in around 80% of vehicle purchases. Purchases of consumer electronics, computers, and property are increasingly being made by women. And women are the key decision makers for all kinds of services around the home – just ask any tradesperson!

The point here is not to diminish the male customer. These figures simply serve to show how big of a role have women taken on in todays society and businesses will do well to recognise this and adapt accordingbly. 

Businesses that still treat WOMEN as a niche market need to have a re-think!

Sources: Competitive Edge Magazine and EPM's Marketing to Women


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