Are Women Dominating Online Shopping?
Today, women have a variety of options when it comes to making purchases. Women have traditionally favored going to brick-and-mortar stores. However, more and more women are shopping online because of a number of benefits associated with the activity.
There’s no better proof of this trend than Amazon’s sales figures. According to InternetRetailer, Amazon sold nearly $35 billion worth in 2015, the bulk of which came from its North American market. In fact, about 70% percent of units sold on Amazon come from third-party sellers. Out of that percentage, 56% were purchased by female customers during the second half of 2015 alone. Women make up 52% of Amazon customers overall.
In 2014, eBay realized similar results, with a minimum of 68% of its sellers being female.
So why are so many women turning to online shopping? And what does this mean for businesses?
Purchasing Power is the Key Factor
Women have traditionally made fewer purchases than men, but that is beginning to change. This can be attributed to an increase in opportunities for women and there’s no better proof of this than education. Since the 1960s, college enrollment among females has been rising steadily and they continue to graduate at higher rates than their male counterparts. Women today represent just under 60% all bachelor degrees awarded, according to research from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and Workforce. While increasing numbers of women are earning more degrees each year, they also make up nearly half of the workforce.
A look at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that women’s participation in the labor force has grown steadily over the last two decades. In recent years, nearly 6 out of 10 mothers are employed, with more than 7 million single mothers working in the United States. This statistic is particularly striking when compared with figures from 1950, which revealed that 34% of mothers were part of the full-time workforce. Collections agencies also report seeing a rise in female customers, with most reporting 70% to 80% female clients.
However, women who head households tend to remain on the lower end of wage earners; it’s only when they earn higher incomes that they begin buying luxury items for themselves. Although women continue to make strides in areas like education, when it comes to salary, they still tend to be on the lower end of the totem pole.
Women are Earning More Money, Thus Seeking Better Deals
According to a study conducted by Ebates, 62% of respondents said that having more disposable income was one of the top factors that attracted them to online shopping. However, this also means that these women are learning how to manage their budgets better and seek out deals for items they want or need. For example, bargain hunters will enjoy finding coupons at local retailers while those who prefer finding exclusive deals on luxury items will turn to department stores. And let’s not forget about “textbook” shoppers, who are known for purchasing virtually everything online.
This means that it isn’t enough for businesses to simply offer their products online; they must also be able to provide customers with the best prices and promotions, especially if they want to capture female clientele .
Women Prefer Shopping Online over Traditional Brick-and-Mortar Stores
A recent study conducted by digital marketing company BloomReach found that 44% of women between the ages of 18 and 34 prefer shopping online, while only 26% prefer heading into brick-and-mortar outlets. What exactly is fueling this preference? According to the same survey, women feel that shopping online allows them to search for items and compare prices in a more convenient manner.
But it isn’t just younger women who prefer online shopping; the numbers speak for themselves: sales of U.S. apparel and accessories grew 15% from 2013 to 2014, according to Market Research while retail sales only grew 5% during the same period.
The main reason behind this is convenience; since most retailers now offer their products online, customers can find what they want without driving all over town or wasting time standing in crowded stores.
And if you think that your shopping experience needs to be better, check out Walmart.