Cars and gadgets are on women’s shopping list, too

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Women consumers are breaking new ground in the so-called male shopping domain of cars, televisions, laptops, tablets and household appliances amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to latest data compiled by researchers and manufacturers.

Women homemakers now account for 40% for all electronic purchases, as compared to 28% in 2019, as per researcher GfK India. Women have also been instrumental in driving purchase of the additional car in the family since the outbreak of the pandemic. The share of additional car purchases grew to 25% during Covid-19, from 19% before the pandemic, largely contributed by women buyers, as per estimates by manufacturers.

Further, GfK India estimates that the average age of female shoppers buying electronics has fallen four years to 34 years in the past two years. Even in the case of cars, there has been a dip in average age, with an increasing number of women joining the workforce and buying a vehicle before getting married.

India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki said that against an industry average of 49% buyers coming from the 26-35 years bracket, the proportion in case of women is 60%. For Tata Motors, the average age of women buyers has dropped to 34 years from 37 years in the past two years.

Shashank Srivastava, senior executive director, sales and marketing at Maruti Suzuki said there is a substantial increase in self-decision making by women buyers. “When compared to 36% of women buyers choosing a type and a brand of car for themselves, five years ago, that number has shot up to 42%,” he said.

GfK India’s managing director Nikhil Mathur said women accounted for 46% of some major consumer tech product purchase decisions in India during 2021. More than half of purchase decision-makers for washing machines and microwave ovens were women shoppers, he said.

“Younger women are more interested in automating and remotely controlling aspects of their homes. Marketers are adopting innovative and personalised approaches to target different women shoppers across categories,” said Mathur.

GfK India says the top three purchase drivers for women shoppers are product features, price and brand. Car manufacturers said the predetermined bias towards a car or brand by women are much lower, while safety and feature rich products are their top requirements. “There is a surge in women customers by about 21% in the last one year,” said Rajan Amba, vice-president (sales, marketing and customer care) at Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles.

He said the increase in demand for personal mobility since the outbreak of the pandemic has led to this dramatic growth.

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