Price Becoming More Important Purchase Factor for Women

March 6, 2012

wsl-women-lowest-prices-strategies-mar-2012.jpgThree-quarters of women say it is important to get the lowest price on everything they buy, a 12% point increase from 2008, and a 22% point rise from 2004, according to [pdf] a report released in March 2012 by WSL/Strategic Retail. Almost 7 in 10 regularly use coupons to reduce costs, up 11.5% points from 61% in 2010, while 45% claim they only buy items that are only on sale, representing an 18.4% increase from 38% in 2010. Other ways in which women ensure they obtain the lowest price are by making a point to search online for store discounts before they shop (43%) and using their mobile phones in-store to see if they can find a lower price, before buying (14%).

In-store mobile product browsing certainly appears to be a growing trend: according to a JiWire report released in February 2012, 34% of mobile consumers in Q4 2011 said they had comparison shopped in-store with their mobile device, while February data from Pew suggests 1 in 4 US adult cell phone owners used their devices to look up the price of a product online while they were in a store during this past holiday season.

Meanwhile, according to the WSL/Strategic Retail report, consumers overall are cutting costs by pausing before a purchase to ask themselves if it is a smart use of their money (66%), sticking to brands and stores they can afford (58%), staying out of stores where they might be tempted to overspend (45%) and buying less when they go shopping (43%).

Focus on Price Hurts Brands

Women’s focus on price means that they are thinking hard about the value they attach to name brands. In fact, two-thirds of the respondents agreed that trusted brands are not worth paying more for. Even among affluent respondents (those making over $150k), only 44% said they were willing to pay more for brand names.

Furthermore, roughly one-quarter of women said they used to buy brands they could not afford and have now curtailed that activity, representing a 37% increase from 19% who responded that way in 2010. Affluents do not agree, though: only 15% say they have curtailed their spending on brands they could not earlier afford, compared to 33% of shoppers with incomes under $50k. Among age groups, those under 35 are more likely to have stopped buying brands they cannot afford than those over 35 (31% vs. 25%).

According to October 2011 analysis from comScore, 38% of consumers in 2011 said they switched brands when a peer brand was on sale, up from 33% in 2008.

Youth Struggle to Cover Basic Needs

Data from “How America Shops MegaTrends 2012” indicates that 24% of 18-34-year-olds say they do not have enough money to cover their basic needs, compared to 17% of the 35-54 set and 13% of those over 55. Overall, 52% of American adults say they can only afford the basics, or less, without extras.

Apparently, Americans require an income of more than $150k to be able to afford the basics, the extras, and to also save. In this income group, 88% can afford it all and save, while 12% can only afford the basics. This compares to a surprising 28% of those in the $100-150k income bracket who say they can only afford the basics.

About the Data: The WSL/Strategic Retail survey was conducted December 1-12, 2011, among 1,950 consumers drawn from a nationally representative online sample.

Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This