What makes women shoppers defect or stay loyal?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on September 22, 2008

According to a poll in the latest issue of Consumers Union's ShopSmart magazine, women are most willing to switch brands of over-the-counter medications (68%), milk (67%) and eggs (67%) to save money, but only 29% would change their brand of pet food.

Women are also reluctant to switch cosmetics (30%), personal-care items (48%) and toilet paper (49%), the poll found.

What drives choices
In fact, when it comes to shopping for new appliances, 27% of women said that reliability is the most important consideration, while branding (at only 4%) falls well behind other factors in determining which appliance to purchase. However, women are not willing to sacrifice a brand name to save money, as only 38% of women said they would purchase a lesser-known brand to save money.

"We were surprised to find that women are so readily willing to switch medications," said Lisa Lee Freeman, editor-in-chief for ShopSmart. "However, I am happy to see that women value reliability over branding when it comes to large purchases such as appliances."

Brand loyalty findings
The poll's key findings concerning women shoppers' brand loyalty included:

  • Compared to a similar survey one year earlier, 29% of respondents said that they buy more generic or store brands, particularly among households with children (at 37%);
  • 48% of women who almost always buy the same brand of groceries or canned goods said that their brand loyalty has been influenced by brands they grew up with;
  • 81% of married women said that they alone decide which personal care items to buy for the household, while 77% said that they alone decide which groceries and canned goods to buy;
  • 63% said that when it comes to major appliances such as fridges or ovens, they decide which brand to buy, or that they make a joint decision with their partner.

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