Retail Intelligence

Women More Likely Than Men To Make Impulse Purchases When Shopping, Study Finds

By Steve Wynne-Jones
Women More Likely Than Men To Make Impulse Purchases When Shopping, Study Finds

Women are more likely to make impulse purchases when grocery shopping, while men are more likely to switch brands to avail of a special offer, a new study by Empathy Research for Checkout magazine has found.

The study, which features in the current edition of Checkout magazine, sought to determine the differences in the shopping habits of male and female shoppers. It found that 49% of women claim sole responsibility for shopping for their household, compared to 30% of men.

In addition, married women (43%) are considerably more likely than married men (15%) to do the shopping for their household.

The study also found that 40% of female shoppers are likely to make an impulse purchase every time they shop (15% do so 'all the time'), compared to 29% of male shoppers (6% do so 'all the time').

When it comes to the likelihood of forgetting items while shopping, there is little difference between the sexes – 13% of men say they always/sometimes forget items, compared to 15% of women. However, single men (21%) are more than twice as likely than married men (9%) to forget items while shopping.


Men are marginally more swayed by special offers, the study found, with 87% of male respondents saying that special offers tended to influence their shopping habits (29% citing offers as a 'big influence'), compared to 83% of women (23% 'big influence'). In addition, men are more likely (76%) than women (71%) to switch brand to avail of a special offer.

"What’s interesting is the level of impulse purchases claimed amongst shoppers and the fact that women are more likely to be partaking in impulse purchasing," said Robbie Clarke, Director, Empathy Research. "Perhaps putting pay to a common misconception that men are more impulsive and unplanned when they are shopping."

The survey was conducted across a nationally-representative sample of 500 grocery shoppers aged 18 and over.

For more in-depth information and additional insights relating to this piece of research, please contact Robbie Clarke, Director, Empathy Research at 01 6978 681 or email [email protected]

About Empathy Research: Empathy Research has been pioneering the development of the market research industry in Ireland since its inception in 2002. We’re a full service research agency with a very strong focus on innovation - as the old maxim goes “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. Our experience extends across a diverse range of industry sectors including: FMCG, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Financial Services and Renewable Energy to name a few.

© 2016 - Checkout Magazine

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