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Women Are Holding Back on CE Purchases, Yet Their Influence Remains Strong
Jan 21, 2009
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Women have purchasing power, and according to the report, Women’s Impact on Consumer Electronics Purchases from Gartner, Inc., women are the main decision makers for several key consumer electronics products. However, the ratio of female to male spending is lessening in important categories where it once was rising.

According to NPD’s consumer tracking service, for the three months ending November 2008, the percent of all technology revenue contributed by female buyers was 38%, down from 41% the year before. Among the top five categories, women’s share of revenue spent declined in LCD TVs (from 36% to 30%), desktop PCs (from 41% to 36%), and point-and-shoot digital cameras (from 54% to 51%), bucking a positive 2006 – 2007 share increase of four points or greater among the same categories. Women were more likely than men in each of the top five categories to be seeking an item on sale or promotion.

Even though women may be starting to spend less and not directly making some of the major purchases, they do have a lot of impact behind the scenes. According to the report, flat-panel TVs and home theater systems, which are typically purchased by men, have the greatest female influence. Among those who planned to purchase a consumer electronics product in the next 12 months, plasma TVs, LCD TVs, and home theater systems had the highest likelihood of female influence when the female wasn’t directly making the purchase, at 61%, 59%, and 58%, respectively.

Among major technology categories, word of mouth tends to be the greatest source for women to gather information prior to purchase. However, the report says that particularly among women involved in an LCD TV purchase, there was an even higher incidence of reliance on store displays to gather information. Sales staff were also a greater source of information for women shopping for LCD TVs than for other consumer electronics.

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