Study: Half of Women Say They Influence Purchases Made By Friends, Family

While we’ve heard a number of times that women, more and more, hold the purse strings in the home, a new study says they also hold a great deal of sway with friends and family.

Fleishman-Hillard teamed up with Hearst Magazines for a new study, “Game Changers: Women Defining the New American Marketplace,” the fourth installment of the research series “Women, Power & Money.”

In 2011, more than 50 percent of respondents to the study said they influence the purchases of friends and family, a jump from 31 percent in 2008. In the six months leading up to September 2011, nearly one-fifth of those women polled (19 percent) said they’d told someone not to buy a product or service.

And 54 percent of respondents said they agreed with this: “I feel it is my responsibility to help friends and family make smart purchase decisions.”

Even though women as a group have gained in purchasing power and influence, that doesn’t mean they operate and spend as a bloc. Rather, their use of social media, varying economic backgrounds, and range of ages creates a need for targeted communications.

“One‐size‐fits‐all is an illusion, in clothing and in life – there is no single way to ‘talk to women,'” the study’s white paper says.

You can read more about this study and its findings here. F-H and Hearst, with help from market research company Ipsos, polled 1,279 women between the ages of 25 and 69 with a household income of $25,000 or more per year between September 8 and September 15, 2011. Research was conducted via a 20-minute online survey.