What Drives Shopping Behaviors Among Women?

Female Online Shopper

A couple months ago, MediaPost published an article showing the results of a study they had conducted on the behaviors of women (using data from Ipsos Mendelsohn’s affluence surveys). Using the survey data, they were able to conclude that affluent moms have much more similar shopping and behavior patterns to those of less affluent moms as compared to the patterns of affluent women without children (affluence as defined by an income level over $100,000). Taking this, I decided to see what I could find in the shopping behaviors of women, not through survey responses, but by leveraging Compete’s panel of users to measure actual online behavior.

Coming from my experience as a price conscious shopper that has a weakness for marketing schemes (BOGO deals – do I really need two? Or even one? No, but I can get one free or at a discount!), coupons sites are always one of the first places I check when considering a purchase. I started off checking compete.com for stats on retailmenot.com, one of my favorite places to start my search for coupons, and I noticed a curious income demographic. A full quarter of the people visiting retailmenot.com in August have an income level of over $100k, though the percentage is down from two years ago during the chaos of the financial meltdown.

From there, I delved further into the data, and broke apart the numbers on the women visiting the site into affluent moms, less affluent moms, and affluent women without children (again, affluence as defined by an income level over $100,000). Now, I find that though almost 5.5% of less affluent moms visited retailmenot.com during the month of August, nearly 9% of all affluent moms visited the site while barely 1% of affluent women without children visited the site during the same time period, showing that affluent moms are the ones driving affluent shopping on retailmenot.com.

Looking at a few more coupon sites, I decided to index the mom segments against the affluent women without children segment, to find out just how much more likely an affluent mom or a less affluent mom would visit one of these sites than an affluent woman without children would. Lo and behold, I discover that across the top coupon sites, moms are much more likely to visit than affluent women without children, ranging from three times more likely to almost nine times more likely.

What I find interesting, though, is that affluent moms are much more likely than less affluent moms to visit these coupon sites. However, I feel that these coupon sites are less likely to be used for staples, and more often used for larger, “want”-driven shopping, which the affluent moms do more of. As an example, I tested out tiffany.com and found that affluent moms are 5-15x more likely to shop there as compared to less affluent moms, with a spike during the Christmas season. So while motherhood does skew affluent women towards similar shopping patterns as the rest of us, they still are shopping for more high-end merchandise. What trends will we see in the coming months as the holiday season approaches?

likelihood to coupon site