Female consumers will be key marketing targets this holiday season, as they help to spread deals and coupons at a time when consumers are seeking to spend less, according to research from women's social network SheSpeaks.
A recent study of the network's members found that women plan to rely on their personal networks of contacts to find and share the best holiday shopping deals on the web.
According to Alisa Freud, CEO for SheSpeaks, "Brands and retailers stand to benefit from making women feel like they have access to a unique offer. This year it is especially important for marketers to engage women using direct marketing that gives them a personal incentive to shop."
The poll of 2,000 SheSpeaks members also found that the majority of women intend to limit their holiday shopping budgets this year, as well as to take advantage of coupons and conduct more online research to help save money. Women also said they will be turning to recommendations and online research to make smarter purchase decisions.
Personal recommendations will be the largest influencer on women's holiday spending, with nearly 75% of women having purchased a product after the recommendation of a family member or acquaintance. Although blogs and shopping web sites are also important sources of information, women indicated that they are more likely to purchase products that a friend or family member has e-mailed them about.
Increasing the circulation of coupons and flyers will also play an important role in women's choice of holiday shopping destinations this year. Apart from driving traffic to stores and web sites, the study found that coupons and promotional codes are likely to help bolster impulse purchases at stores. More than 75% of those polled said that, as a result of these techniques, they are likely to make purchases in addition to the items they are specifically shopping for.
The study also found that women enjoy sharing deals with others. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that they regularly forward online coupons, with nearly 80% reporting that they had shared a coupon with a friend during the previous three months.