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05/04/2016

Study: Women embrace modern shopping technology, but one demand remains constant

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Well informed. Well connected. Price sensitive.



Those three terms sum up the modern American female consumer, according to a new study from Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, which reveals that that price holds the most weight (75%) when it comes to influencing a purchase, followed by quality (55%). Other factors affecting women’s purchase decisions include brand (31%), store (26%) and availability (14%).



The study, “How Women Shop in 2016,” finds that 71% of respondents own and use a smartphone daily. Another 66% own and use a laptop daily. Ownership/daily usage rates fall below 50% for desktop (46%) and tablet (44%). Female consumers are willing to use personal tech gadgets for shopping. Sixty-one percent shop while watching or streaming TV, 35% while at work and 16% while on a smartphone in a competitor’s store.



Female consumers have a high participation rate in store loyalty programs (80%). In terms of how they would prefer to receive loyalty notifications, a significant 82% majority favor what has become a legacy technology – email. Another 9% chose other, 6% text and 4% app (total equals more than 100% due to rounding).



In other key findings:



• When it comes to learning about products, specials and shopping news, women rely most heavily on TV (445% and social media (42%), followed by friends and family (38%), retail websites (37%), newspapers and magazines (36%) and Amazon (29%).



• Amazon (38%) and Google (31%) are female shoppers’ top choices for comparing prices on their smartphones. Additionally, Amazon dominates as women’s top shopping app (71%) followed by grocery store apps (28%) and Groupon (26%).



• Women love rebates, and prefer plastic for rewards: Sixty-nine percent of women consider in-store rebates attractive offers. Women also prefer plastic prepaid cards over eCodes when it comes to receiving post-purchase rewards. However, 80% of women would accept a $25 promotion on a $100 purchase when only a digital reward is offered.



• Same-day delivery or pickup is attractive, especially with a rebate: Forty-five percent of women bought online and picked up in-store in the last six months; 88% would consider buying online and picking up in store to save $10 on a $50 purchase; and 80% would consider doing so to receive an item three days earlier.



• Seventy-five percent of women have purchased gift cards in the last year. Seventy percent would take advantage of exclusive values requiring the use of a gift card and 38% buy gift cards for themselves when bonus awards are offered with purchase. Women prefer universal prepaid cards as post-purchase rewards over all other offerings.



The Blackhawk report summarizes the findings from two distinct studies: the first was a U.S. study conducted in April 2015 that surveyed more than 1,300 American women and focused on shopping behaviors; the second was a U.S. study conducted in October 2015 that surveyed more than 1,300 additional American women and focused on app and gift card preferences.