The Real Reason Women Shop More Than Men

By Bridget Brennan

After all, understanding why women buy is the first step to gaining their business.

The real reason is sobering.  In virtually every society in the world, women have primary care-giving responsibilities for both children and the elderly (and often, just about everybody else in-between). In this primary caregiving role, women find themselves buying on behalf of everyone else in their lives.

The list is long: in addition to buying for themselves, women buy on behalf of husbands, partners, kids, colleagues, adult children, friends, relatives, elderly parents, in-laws, their businesses and even their kids’ friends, to name just a few.  If somebody, somewhere needs a gift, chances are there’s a woman thinking about it; tracking it down; wrapping it; making sure it’s accompanied by a personal message and then arriving to the person on the appointed day.   I sometimes think

entire industries would collapse overnight if women stopped being so thoughtful.  Consider the impact to the greeting card industry alone.

What does this mean to you? If you’re in a consumer business, it means that women are multiple markets in one.  They are the gateway to everybody else.  What a compelling reason to study the impact of gender in the sales and marketing process. Every time you deliver great service to a woman, she has a multiplier effect on your business because she represents a broad range of other potential customers, and will likely tell people about the great service you offer.   Wherever you are on the journey of optimizing sales and marketing for women consumers, keep these three strategies in mind:

Address Her “Invisible Others”

Women constantly evaluate how their purchases might impact the people they care about most.   It’s important to address these absent influencers during the sales process by finding out who else will be using the product.  By doing so, you may be able to overcome hidden barriers to the sale.


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