A Blog Series on Shopper Marketing

By Cyndi Pyburn

Did you know that 4 out of 5 Canadian women say marketers just don’t get them?  With tremendous buying power not only for themselves, but most often for the family as well, this is one group that marketers truly need to get. Some facts:

  • Women control $20 trillion of worldwide spending.
  • Two-thirds of consumer wealth is in the hands of women.
  • 80% of home improvement projects are initiated by women.
  • 93% of over-the-counter pharmaceutical purchases are made by women.
  • 50% of all new cars are purchased by women


In a recent (March 2014) survey sampling 1,000 Canadian women aged 18-64,*, advice given to advertisers includes:

  1. Value Us – women have money to spend so value them, listen to them.  Don’t exclude them and assume they are not interested in ‘manly’ things.  Respect them.
  2. Please Stop – using stereotypes, using the colour pink on EVERYTHING, and showing women only as beautiful works of art.
  3. Keep it ‘Real’ – show it like it is in real life – show women in well-rounded ways, balancing work, home and family life.  Use ‘real’ people not air-brushed supermodels.
  4. Make us Laugh – do only the men get the laughs?
  5. Ageism – why is anti-wrinkle cream advertised to 30-somethings?  Where is advertising after the age of 40?

Some retailers are getting it ‘right’ — right for their brand and right at the shelf.  These brands are revered by Canadian women for different reasons.  Some examples:

  • The one-stop shop, price – Walmart – makes my life ‘easier’
  • The one-stop shop, value for the money – Costco – makes my trip ‘interesting’
  • Rewards– Shoppers Drug Mart – Optimum program allows me to ‘indulge’ on special purchases
  • A ‘Third’ home – Starbucks – gives me a ‘haven’ from the worries outside
  • The one-stop home guided tour – IKEA – Unleashes my imagination
  • Variety, choice and value in mind – President’s Choice – satisfies my inner foodie
  • The endless aisle – Amazon – gives me a plethora of easy choice
  • Supporting Canada’s communities – Canadian Tire, Tim Horton’s – proud to shop and support
  • Keep me connected – Facebook – a pulse on my friends and family

So what for marketers?  Women clearly appreciate brands that work hard on their behalf to help them make ends meet. Help women to celebrate frugality and spend money wisely, all in a convenient way.  Help women to enjoy the simpler things given their busy schedules.  Help women to explore their creativity and spark their imaginations.  By doing so, your brand has a far greater chance of resonating and becoming a ‘beloved’ brand among this powerful gender.

*Conducted by Callosum Research and analyzed by MarketELLE