A colleague once shared a story that her Mom told about the early days of living with her Dad. It took place late in the 80s on a November afternoon. Her Mom asked her Dad to go to the local grocery store to buy bread for the house. The story has it that he left and bumped into a bunch of friends at the store, and before he could even contemplate the bread, was on his way to a weekend fishing trip. He returned home on Sunday just after 6pm. As he entered the kitchen through the back door, the Mom looked up from the table and asked him where the bread was!
Although the above is an extreme case you might find the following scenario familiar; you ask your husband or partner to get the items on the household grocery list and he returns with half the groceries at twice the price, quite pleased with himself.
The reality is that marketers should be leveraging the fact that women make the majority of purchasing decisions in their homes. A Nielsen article published in 2019 says that on average, 89% of women around the world have shared or primary responsibility for daily shopping, household chores and food prep.
The female consumer is often the primary caregiver for children and the elderly and spends a lot of time making decisions and spending money for other peoples’ benefit. Women make consumer decisions based on collective family impact and not for individual benefit. They are more holistic in approach, understand the rands and cents more intimately and can be described as the compass for a changing world.
The female consumer is influential and should be spoken to as a woman first and a consumer second. Consider the following when thinking about servicing women consumers:
- Time is more important than ever before. The changing nature of schooling, homes and associated responsibilities means time is a premium. If you can’t do anything to help her save time, do your utmost not to waste it. Ensure your systems and processes are optimised to value her time.
- Avoid “pinkifying”. Several brands have been caught by taking products and changing the colour to make a women’s range. This isn’t good enough. Women are looking for considered decisions and products that truly make a difference and add value to their lives and meets their needs.
- It’s not always about price. On-line shopping has made price parity easier, and price remains a key factor. The concept of value is more important; are you able to deliver beyond the cost expectation and add a layer of value that someone is happy to pay for?
As we acknowledge the role of women in moving our society forward, let us be cognisant of the value of the female economy and the role it plays in shaping our lives. The attention to products, price, purchasing power and impact more often than not see women go to the store and return with twice the groceries at half the price.