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How Women Shop in 2016


American women are shopping across multiple channels, are price sensitive, and know how to take advantage of the myriad promotional offers available to them, according to shopper research from Blackhawk Engagement Solutions.

“With women usually doing the lion’s share of day-to-day shopping, female shoppers aren’t only a key demographic for retailers, they’re often the primary demographic,” said Rodney Mason, GVP of marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, an international incentives and engagement company. “Our research shows that retailers have opportunities to engage with the sought-after female shopper through omnichannel optimization and valuable promotions that offer best-in-market prices and use prepaid cards.”

Blackhawk Engagement Solutions’ “How Women Shop: Shopping Habits of American Women,” summarizes the findings from two distinct studies: the first was a U.S. study conducted in April 2015 that surveyed more than 1,300 American women and focused on shopping behaviors; the second was a U.S. study conducted in October 2015 that surveyed more than 1,300 additional American women and focused on app and gift card preferences.

Together, these surveys identified the ways American women research purchases, the devices they use, and the influences along their paths to purchase. Key findings include:

  • Women are plugged in, particularly to smartphones: Female shoppers own and use daily: smartphones (71 percent), laptops (66 percent), desktop computers (46 percent) and tablets (44 percent).
  • TV and social media are most popular sources for shopping info: When it comes to learning about products, specials and shopping news, women rely most heavily on TV (45 percent) and social media (42 percent), followed by friends and family (38 percent), retail websites (37 percent), newspapers and magazines (36 percent) and Amazon (29 percent).
  • Women remain price sensitive: Female shoppers’ purse strings aren’t getting any looser. Ninety-seven percent have more or the same sensitivity to price as last year. Additionally, price has the greatest influence on women’s purchase decisions above all other factors, including quality, brand, store and availability.
  • Amazon and Google are tops for price comparisons on smartphones: Amazon (38 percent) and Google (31 percent) are female shoppers’ top choices for comparing prices on their smartphones. Additionally, Amazon dominates as women’s top shopping app (71 percent) followed by grocery store apps (28 percent) and Groupon (26 percent).
  • When it comes to promotions, women love rebates, prefer plastic for rewards: Sixty-nine percent of women consider in-store rebates attractive offers. Women also prefer plastic prepaid cards over eCodes when it comes to receiving post-purchase rewards. However, 80 percent of women would accept a $25 promotion on a $100 purchase when only a digital reward is offered.
  • Same-day delivery or pickup is attractive, especially with a rebate: Forty-five percent of women bought online and picked up in-store in the last six months; 88 percent would consider buying online and picking up in store to save $10 on a $50 purchase; and 80 percent would consider doing so to receive an item three days earlier.
  • Women embrace loyalty programs: Eighty percent of women belong to store loyalty programs and 64 percent are happy with those programs. Women largely prefer to receive loyalty notifications by email (82 percent), although 37 percent of women receive loyalty offers via apps and 36 receive them via text message.

To download a full report exploring the findings of “How Women Shop: Shopping Habits of American Women” research, click here.


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