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Gender’s Role in Purchases: Reaching Your Target Demographic

March 16, 2022
ericv Author 4 mins read
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Advertising is a vital marketing expense. Ads let consumers know a product exists, and they paint a picture about how that product will solve consumers’ problems. Whether it’s a Pay-Per-Click campaign online, a #SponCon post on an influencer’s Instagram account, or even a multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercial, marketers need to get their products in front of consumers.

Each consumer reached by an ad has the potential to become a loyal customer. When it comes to selling consumer durables, such as kitchen and bath fixtures, consumer electronics, or power equipment, it’s important to understand who the target customer is. This is true especially for larger household purchases. Understanding who makes these decisions allows companies to have targeted marketing. This lets them maximize the ROI on each dollar they spend.

One interesting area of consumer research data involves households with both a male and female decision-maker.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 130 million married people in the US (note: this figure includes same-sex marriages). This number grows if you include households made of unmarried male/female couples. By examining who is making decisions for specific purchases, marketers can better determine whether they should gear their marketing efforts more toward men or women.

According to TraQline, our quarterly survey that reaches over 500,000 consumers annually, there are certain product categories that fall into female-dominated, male-dominated, or joint-decision purchases.

Categories Where Women Tend to Make Purchase Decisions

Women account for a large percentage of decisions in certain key categories. For example:

  • Furniture and Home Accessories: Women are the sole decision makers 54 percent of the time. Men and women make joint decisions 27 percent of the time.
  • Small Appliances: Small appliances show a 55 percent female lead compared to 29 percent for men.
  • Cell Phones: This data may surprise people. For most consumer electronics, men make the majority of purchasing decisions. But for cell phones, women make 41 percent of the purchase decisions compared to only 38 percent for men.

Categories Where Men Tend to Make Purchase Decisions

Power Tools, Lawn and Garden, Auto, and Consumer Electronics top the list of male-dominated categories:

  • Power Tools: Men account for 62 percent of power tool purchases.
  • Lawn and Garden Care: Men account for 47 percent of purchases related to lawn and garden. But women aren’t far behind, with 34 percent of decisions.
  • Auto tires and batteries: Men are responsible for 55 percent of these decisions.
  • Consumer Electronics: Men account for 50 percent of electronic purchases, especially in the areas of video game systems, smartwatches, and automotive electronics. The exception is cell phones, as mentioned above, where women report making more of the purchasing decisions.

Categories Where Men and Women Tend to Make Joint Purchase Decisions

Large ticket items and purchases that all members of a household use show a higher percentage of joint-decision making. Categories of goods that men and women purchase together include:

  • Kitchen and Bath Improvement: This category includes cabinets, countertops, faucets, and sinks. Some 34 percent of respondents say these are joint-buying decisions, with the rest a bit more often made by women.
  • Flooring: These purchases tend to be joint decisions 43 percent of the time, with women edging out men 34 percent to 23 percent when the decision is made individually.

Other categories show a large percentage of joint decisions but still fall a bit behind those made unilaterally by men or women. Some consumer durables that fall into this category include:

  • Mattresses: At the end of 2015, this purchase was most often a joint decision. Now, women make the decision solo 48 percent of the time.
  • Large Appliances: Men make 37 percent of purchases, while joint decisions are made 30 percent of the time.
  • Windows and Doors: Men narrowly edge out joint-decision making 38 percent to 36 percent.

TraQline Illuminates Who’s Making Household Purchases

When it comes to household buying decisions as a whole, men and women tend to share responsibilities. There are still certain categories where data shows that one gender or the other will be the primary purchaser. Knowing where to focus marketing efforts allows retailers and manufacturers to maximize advertising investments and increase sales. Using consumer behavior to identify specific customer bases allows retailers to develop strategies that more effectively target these groups. Contact the experts at TraQline for the data you need to reach your target market and drive sales today!