Blackhawk Engagement Solutions Research Uncovers “How Women Shop in 2016”

New research from Blackhawk Network’s incentives division, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, has uncovered how American women are shopping these days. Recently featured in Apparel Magazine, Chain Store Age, Mobile Marketing and Technology, PYMNTS, and Retailing Today, the research found women are well informed, well connected, and demand the lowest price.

According to Rodney Mason, GVP of Marketing at Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, “With women usually doing the lion’s share of day-to-day shopping, female shoppers aren’t only a key demographic for retailers, they’re often the primary demographic. Retailers have opportunities to engage with the sought-after female shopper through omnichannel optimization and valuable promotions that offer best-in-market prices and use prepaid cards.”

Key findings from the research include:

  • Women are plugged in, particularly to smartphones: Female shoppers own and use daily: smartphones (71 percent), laptops (66 percent), desktop computers (46 percent) and tablets (44 percent).
  • TV and social media are most popular sources for shopping info: When it comes to learning about products, specials and shopping news, women rely most heavily on TV (45 percent) and social media (42 percent), followed by friends and family (38 percent), retail websites (37 percent), newspapers and magazines (36 percent) and Amazon (29 percent).
  • Women remain price sensitive: Female shoppers’ purse strings aren’t getting any looser. Ninety-seven percent have more or the same sensitivity to price as last year.
  • Amazon and Google are tops for price comparisons on smartphones: Amazon (38 percent) and Google (31 percent) are female shoppers’ top choices for comparing prices on their smartphones.
  • Women embrace loyalty programs: Eighty percent of women belong to store loyalty programs and 64 percent are happy with those programs.
  • Female shoppers find safety and value in gift and prepaid cards, prefer them for rewards:
    • Seventy-five percent of women have purchased gift cards in the last year.
    • Women prefer universal prepaid cards as post-purchase rewards over all other offerings.
    • Sixty-seven percent would consider exchanging gift cards they receive for other available brands.
    • Nineteen percent buy gift cards for themselves.


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