Monday, May 13, 2013

Trace Who Does What in the Purchase

“Men consistently spend $600 to $700 more a month than women.”
     That’s according to the just-released Intuit Consumer Spending Index based on data from over two million users of Intuit’s personal finance software.
     What accounts for the $600-$700 difference, and what are the implications for you as a retailer? One possible explanation is the blooming of househusbands. An analysis conducted a few years ago by University of New Hampshire concluded that during the U.S. economic downturn, husbands lost jobs more often than did wives, and husbands encountered more difficulty than wives in finding employment.
     As a result, a higher percentage of wives than in the past found it necessary, in order to pay the bills, to enter the labor force or to expand their work hours. They’d prefer to be home instead with family, but that’s not feasible. A logical consequence is that more household responsibilities, including shopping, are being handled by the husbands.
     The implication for retailers is to accommodate the style of male shoppers. There are broad individual differences among male shoppers and among female shoppers, but a solid body of research finds that, overall, men tend to think about shopping and conduct themselves as shoppers differently than do women. Male shoppers are more purpose-driven. Women are more possibilities-driven.
     However, there’s another explanation for the Intuit findings which also deserves attention: Because of cultural norms, when a man and one or two women are in a restaurant or store together, it’s more often the man who pulls out the credit card to pay. And it is largely credit card purchases which are tabulated in Cash purchases and bank account withdrawals are not automatically tracked.
     Two related implications here for retailers: First, consider that the $600-$700 figure could be an exaggeration. The person who makes the payment might not be the person who made the purchase decision. The differential in the Intuit index was 29% for eating out and 27% for entertainment, both areas in which the man is more likely than the woman to make the payment. The differential was only 6% for “overall shopping,” and the differential was 21% in the opposite direction for the category of clothing and apparel.
     The related implication is to trace who does what in the purchase.
  • Initiators identify the need 
  • Gatekeepers gather information and route it to the other participants in the purchase decision 
  • Buyers authorize the purchase 
Click below for more: 
Recalibrate for Shopper Gender Trends 
Learn the Relationship B2B Customers Want

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