Who Buys What: Identifying international spending patterns

What women want – female influenced purchasing

Women are widely believed to influence some 80% of all household spending, a figure supported by Euromonitor International’s publication, ‘Who Buys What’, which analyses expenditure by gender, age, wealth and education in over 70 market sectors and 35 countries.

There is clear evidence that female influence over household expenditure is on a continuing uptrend; all the indicators are in its favour. The median income of women has risen 82% between 1971 and 2001, compared with a rise of just 11% for men. And, equally importantly, more and more households in developed countries are now two-income, which inevitably gives women a greater say in family expenditure.

In addition to developed countries, women are gaining spending power in traditionally male-oriented cultures. In Asia, newly-wealthy women are discovering the enfranchising delights of discretionary shopping, and are approaching routine shopping as fun rather than duty.

According to ‘Who Buys What’, women are the primary spenders in 77% of consumer markets in terms of proportion of spend directly controlled. Female purchasing decisions were particularly dominant in skin care, colour cosmetics, baby food, depilatories, hair care and premium cosmetics.

Male purchasing decisions were dominant in cigars, camcorders, beer, men’s grooming products and video games, but overall women dominated the deployment of the retail dollar.