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Women of influence

Thanks to social media and online shopping, women are more important to grocers and consumer packaged goods companies than ever before

Sixty per cent of primary shoppers in Canada are women. They have a huge influence over the household basket.

We all know that. But guess what? Today, women are more important to your business than ever. Why? Because it’s a digital world and womdn are super plugged in.

Let’s look at some of the numbers we’ve uncovered in a new Nielsen report, “The Connected Female Consumer”.

Canadian women are nine percentage points more likely to check email compared to men (87% of women vs. 78% of men). Women are more social, too. They’re 15 percentage points more likely to visit social networking sites than men (79% vs. 64% of guys).

If you’re looking to connect with women, a tightly crafted online strategy is a must.

With digital discounts available aplenty, and apps making it easier to keep track of deals, heavy use of email and social media may also explain why Canadian women are more likely to participate in retailer and manufacturer marketing programs.

Female shoppers are 22 percentage points more likely to receive coupons than men (see chart below), 17 percentage points more likely to join retailer groups to get promotions, and 16 percentage points more likely to join a loyalty program than men. Women are also more likely to read store flyers, look for

coupons and compare store prices online—all in advance of visiting the grocery store.

Even though female consumers already use a number of digital tools, understanding how they interact with these tools—with friends and family, as well as brands—is essential for anyone looking to run successful campaigns with higher on-target rates.

For example, women with social media accounts are 17 percentage points more likely than men to enter contests, 12 points more likely than men to forward coupons and promotions to their friends and family, and nine percentage points more likely to connect with retailers.

That said, building a relationship with female shoppers takes some time and effort. But the payoff can be big: a highly engaged consumer with a broader appeal toward the brand, and who will share her interests to create other engaged consumers.

Another area to pay attention to is ecommerce. Online sales are up in Canada, with many consumers shopping online for CPG. What motivates women to shop for CPG online? Two things to start: information gathering and deal seeking. The latter especially should come as no surprise. Canadians are already trained to buy groceries on promotion. Thirty-eight per cent of total dollar sales in Canada now have a price cut. So shoppers are simply transferring their established in-store buying behaviour to the world of ecommerce. Checking online flyers and using price-saving apps rank high among online drivers.

But women are motivated to shop online for other reasons. Product availability, for example. Over 30% of women say they shop online to get products not available to them in stores. That gives online retailers a unique advantage. They are not limited by square footage space. Convenience is another driver. Close to 30% of women see online shopping as a time saver, and some say it better fits their schedules.

In-store and online, if you want to succeed, reaching women shoppers is a must.

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