August 14, 2017
When it comes to consumer spending, women are in charge
Female employment is on the rise, and their earnings are catching up with their male counterparts. Yet, women are still tasked with the bulk of household management responsibilities. This potent combination means that women have an unprecedented amount of spending agency - and the data shows it. Women will control two-thirds of consumer wealth over the next decades. What they don’t have a lot of are time and attention, so the brands that can harness the power of the purse have a lot to gain.
How much spending are we talking about?
A lot: $2.4 trillion of consumer spending per year. Of the 85 million American women with children under the age of 18, 85% of those are responsible for purchasing decisions for their households. In other words, in addition to buying for themselves, they’re also purchasing --and influencing brand loyalties and future buying behaviors--for the whole family. Half of all male-centric purchases are actually made by women: in the retail market, discerning marketers must figure out how to reach their target audiences through the eyes and ears of the women who wield the wallets.
How and where do they wield those wallets?
Increasingly, through smartphones. Retail spending on mobile devices is on the rise overall, more than doubling from $12 billion in 2013 to $31 billion in 2017. For the multitasking mom accomplishing things on the go, the smartphone is an essential tool: 87% report owning one, and the data shows that mothers are 58% more likely than other demographics to make purchases using a mobile phone.
However, optimizing for mobile isn’t just about anticipating increased conversions from smartphone shoppers: 63% of mothers list shopping as among their favorite smartphone activities, but even more dominant are searching (88%) and email (91%)--both of which represent additional opportunities for you brand to interact with moms through mobile. Even in-store shoppers should be part of your mobile strategy: nine out of ten mothers say that their phone is always within reach while they’re in the car, in the kitchen, watching TV, or in stores--which means that your mobile experience may influence their purchasing behavior even when they’re in a physical retail location. Having a sharply honed multi-channel strategy has especially large pay-off for this consumer segment and should not be overlooked.
What can your brand do to connect with this market?
Your first priority should be to create a mobile-optimized website that is designed for the efficient and time-strapped consumer. Save the long videos and complex messaging for another channel and focus on simple and direct messaging with informative tidbits of info. Make sure that goal-directed consumers can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, and the improvements will show in your revenue numbers.
It’s time to recognize American women and mothers as the financial powerhouses that they are.