Empathica indicates that during an economic crisis, women make more sacrifices than men

Empathica Inc., provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to some of the worlds most respected brands, announced that its survey of more than 7,200 consumers indicates women hold back on their spending more than men in a down economy.

While overall spending was down, with only 5% of survey participants spending more in 2009 compared to 2008, results showed that women (72%) moderately to significantly cut spending to a greater extent than men (62%).

In fact, out of 15 industry sectors, only four were unaffected by gender differences, noting similar levels of reduced spending at gas stations, bars, hotels and airlines. Restaurants, specifically, were largely impacted by gender differences. During 2009, only one in 10 men indicated they never eat out at restaurants. This compared to one in five women who say they never eat out.

When examining consumer spending during hard economic times, retailers would be smart to note that women and men not only spend differently, but have different motivations for spending, explains Dr. Gary Edwards, EVP of Client Services with Empathica. Retailers need to know their customers and how to best entice them with offers. For example, our survey indicates that women are most motivated to try a new restaurant if they have a coupon.

The Empathica Consumer Insights survey indicated that a coupon would entice 48.3% of women to try a new restaurant while fewer men, 39.8%, would be influenced by this offer.

While women are more likely to use coupons in order to try a new restaurant, they are also slightly more forgiving of a bad restaurant experience at a familiar establishment. Eight percent of men cited a negative experience at a familiar restaurant as their top reason to try a new restaurant, yet only 4% of women cited the same reason.

Knowing the demographics of your top promoters, and your top detractors, can be key in establishing a better customer experience, and ultimately catering to what the customer desires from your business, adds Edwards.

General Economic Sentiments
The overall sectors most impacted by a reduction in spending were hotels, bars, airlines, dining establishments, electronics stores and furniture stores. Pharmacy, supermarkets, gas stations and other staple goods and services were least effected by those who cut back on spending. The top concerns from consumers who reduced their spending in 2009, in order:

(1)  Debt
(2)  Job Security
(3)  Health
(4)  Economy

Of those surveyed, 57% were optimistic about the economy, with one in three indicating they anticipate their financial situation will be somewhat to much better in the next six months. 

About the Empathica Consumer Insights Panel:
The Empathica Consumer Insights serves as an authoritative voice on consumer based economic indicators; the retail, financial services and restaurant industries; consumer shopping intentions and customer satisfaction as reported by thousands of consumers in the U.S. and Canada. Results from Empathicas Consumer Insights, led by Dr. Gary Edwards and Empathicas Consumer Insights team, are published on a quarterly basis. The results are based on outbound Internet surveys with Empathicas growing Insights Panel, derived from more than 30 million consumer surveys per year. Results have been weighted to reflect latest Census distributions in the U.S. and in Canada, including Region, Gender, Age and Income.


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