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How are Women Shopping Habits Changing?

Posted on: May 25, 2017 8:26 am

Are women’s shopping habits changing? Women are the world’s most powerful consumers, accounting for over 70 percent of all household spending across all category types.

That’s a whopping £205 BILLION of the UK’s total economy, and research indicates that women’s shopping habits are changing. According to a recent study carried out by our network of mums, the shopping habits of women have changed quite dramatically in particular in the last 12 months, and especially when it comes to online shopping.

What our study revealed about women’s shopping habits

A third of respondents (32%) say they have started to do more shopping online, a tenth (9%) say they do ‘a lot more’ shopping online, seven percent ‘used to do a lot more online but now do a lot more in-store shopping’, and one in 50 ‘used to do some online shopping but only do in-store shopping now’.

Regionally, mums in the South East are the most likely to embrace online retail, whereas those in Yorkshire and Humberside are the most traditional, doing the most in-store shopping. When we break down women shopping habits by demographic, we can isolate a few key findings:

  • 44 percent of women aged 40-49 do the majority of their shopping online
  • Women aged between 50-59 do most of their shopping in-store
  • The biggest change in women shopping habits occurred in the 30-39 year old demographic, as nearly half are now doing more online shopping

Mandy Wilson, a mum of three children aged eight, 10 and 12, is a devotee of in-store supermarket shopping for both special occasions and routine groceries.

However, she finds that the routine shop is the biggest challenge when it comes to balancing the demands of a family. As a result, she has found online shopping has increasingly become more appealing. “When it comes to shopping I would always love to go to the supermarket, but sometimes I just don’t have time. Online shopping can really help me with this. It also helps when it comes to reordering past selections, and it also takes the hassle out of carrying all the items in the door. So really, the biggest reason my shopping habits have changed is time, and of course smartphones and tablets making it almost second nature to shop online.”

How does product sampling fit into these changing shopping habits?

When it comes to online shopping and trying new products, our research revealed there is a disconnect.

Our study found that 54% of mums who shop online hardly ever add new products to their online shopping basket. At best, only one out of 10 weekly shops will result in a mum adding a new product to her online shopping basket. We also found that mums are 69% less likely to add a new product to their online shopping basket than they are when shopping in the aisles.

Online retailers are going to great lengths to help shoppers choose a wider variety of products through careful algorithms centred around products they might like most. We are sure it is working, but potentially not enough – that means for brands it is getting that bit harder to get their products into right people’s hands.

When it comes to mums shopping habits in the aisles, nearly a third said they would put a new product in their shopping basket, and according to our research, London mums are more likely to do this than their counterparts across the UK. And in terms of age groups, mums up to their 40s are all just as likely to try new products, it’s only after they reach their 50s that they become more likely to stick with tried and tested products.

In terms of product samples and how that influences shopping habits, around half of all the mums we spoke to said they were ‘never’ presented with the opportunity to try new products, either on the street (46%) or online (52%). And of those that do come across a sampling opportunity, it’s most likely to be no more than five times a year, according to both in-store (37%) and online shoppers (31%). This seems like a huge waste of an opportunity to engage with consumers given that 75% of our mums said that they are mostly influenced by free trials and recommendations from friends.

Get in touch today to find out more about how Talk to Mums can help you get your products into the right hands.

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