How Women Will Shop & Spend This Holiday Season

Mad 4 Marketing has always emphasized the importance of marketing to women, who are often put in charge of budgeting and spending in a family scenario. In fact, more than 80% of all consumer purchases are made by women. This holiday season, we’re keeping an eye on the shopping trends of female shoppers, to see how the recession is affecting annual gift-buying practices. As guessed, this year may show some changes in trends.

Three marketing analysts recently conducted a study to see how women plan to accomplish their holiday shopping after this rough economic year. Mary Lou Quinlan, Jen Drexler and Tracy Chapman—partners at the consultant agency Just Ask a Woman—surveyed 2,000 females for their thoughts and feelings about shopping for gifts in 2009. Based on those results, here’s what to expect in coming months:

•    Women have started shopping earlier this year. Spending gradually throughout the year means women may have accomplished most of their shopping, and may not be drawn to last-minute sales with the same fervor of previous seasons.

•    Women are eyeing deep discounts. Even those with bigger paychecks may be feeling cautious in this economic climate, and may eschew any full retail pricing. Many say they’ll shop with cash rather than credit, which can also cap spending.

•    Gift cards are a hot item for 2009. They’re convenient to purchase, easy to wrap and less likely to be returned. Items that share such traits may share in popularity; women are looking for an easier, more predictable shopping season this year.

•    Yes, women will be cutting back this year. Spending will not only be more conservative, but the amount of presents bought may be cut back overall. Women may buy single, special gifts with more meaning rather than buying in bulk.

Despite survey results, analysts agree that by the time the holidays come around, women may be sick of perpetual frugality. While spending on others this season, it’s likely female shoppers will look for excuses to treat themselves. Offers which include something extra for the spender may be especially well-received.

Ready to plan your end-of-year marketing strategies, and start out on the right foot with female consumers in 2010? Contact Mad 4 Marketing to learn how women save, spend and shop—and how to advertise to ensure their needs will be satisfied by your business.

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