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How does different media influence women’s shopping habits?

Posted on: June 1, 2017 8:53 am

Women shopping habits, and media influence. Numerous studies have been carried out to determine factors that influence women and shopping habits in a bid to determine what makes this consumer demographic so very powerful.

There has also been research carried out that shows a connection between emotions and shopping. “Retail Therapy” is defined as “the practice of shopping in order to make oneself feel more cheerful”, and that can be the case with the weekly supermarket shop just as much as the high street treat. Shopping for necessities such as food for the family can create different emotions and habitual patterns; for example, many women do this type of shopping habitually, some like to shop based on price and offers, while others are tempted by variety.

When it comes to women, shopping habits are influenced by…

One thing that stands out in research that we recently carried out with our network of mums around the topic of “women shopping habits” is that women like to learn about new products before they get to the shopping aisles. This helps them to look out for, notice, or seek out the newest products, getting past the myriad of branding and packaging sameness on the shelves.

It works slightly differently when it comes to online, as eCommerce tends to serve more of a mechanical function. Shopping online helps women get it done quickly whilst saving time, allowing them to purchase more or less the same thing as they would in a shop whilst knowing how much it will cost and when it will be delivered. However, even with the differences in the way they shop, the fact remains the same – women like to know about new products before they do so.

So how do they find out about new products before they shop, and which media influences them the most? When asked during our research to name the media source which was “most likely to influence you to go and purchase a product”, 28% of the mums we spoke to answered with “being told about it by another mum”. The second biggest influence on purchasing, at 23%, was if they had experienced or trialled the product themselves. This was followed by “seeing it in the aisles” at 14%. It is only after these top three that more traditional marketing platforms were considered as key purchase influencers, such as seeing products on social media (14%), seeing products on TV (11%), seeing an ad online (7%) and reading about a product in a newspaper or magazine (4%).

Talking about new products

It seems clear that when examining women and shopping habits, word of mouth plays a very important role.

Even though brands are trying to get their messages across in a myriad of ways, time-strapped mums and have learnt how to tune out of this messaging and to only tune in when needed. As a result, it’s good old-fashioned peer-led word-of-mouth marketing that influences and inspires them to open their minds the most.

In fact, the vast majority of mums we surveyed (82%) said that they often speak to other mums about new products they’ve used and liked, and the key influences that would most likely make them talk about a new product with other mums are; value (17%), a current retailer offer (16%), their kids’ reaction (13%) and an experience or free trial of the product before purchase (13%).

While we are aware that peer-led marketing is the most powerful form of advertising for brands – chiefly because experiencing the product and having reviews from another mum makes it so vital – we should consider which other media sources are the most influential.

Traditional media is the most influential in London, whereas in-store media is the most influential in Yorkshire and Humberside, and digital media is the most influential in the South West, South East and North West. But let’s, remember peer-led media influence mums 103% than traditional media when comparing to any other media


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