Women More Pessimistic Than Men on Economic Outlook, Household Situations

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Research identifies gender, regional differences as consumers continue their cut backs in spending.

Performics (http://www.performics.com), the performance marketing expert inside Publicis Groupe's VivaKi Nerve Center, today released its fourth month of consumer behavior findings from its "2009 Online Buyer Economic Trend Study."

To get a broader perspective on trends, Performics analyzed April through July data based on gender and geographic region. In April, men and women were relatively in sync when it came to economic outlook, perceptions of their household financial situations and their overall/online spending plans. In fact, in April, exactly 53 percent of men and women stated that their current economic situation was worse than at the same time last year.

In contrast, by July, women responded with continuing caution and pessimism with 54 percent stating their economic situation was worse than at the same time last year while men showed signs of increased optimism as a reduced 38 percent responded the same way.

Once we looked at how gender impacted attitudes, other interesting findings emerged in July:

  • 55 percent of women vs. 37 percent of men expect to spend less overall in the next 60 days
  • 46 percent of women vs. 34 percent of men expect to spend less online in the next 60 days
  • 41 percent of women vs. 30 percent of men expect to spend less on household essentials in the next 60 days, up from 34 percent for women and down from 33 percent for men in April
  • 73 percent of women vs. 57 percent of men think the recession has fundamentally changed the way they think about saving and spending money

"Despite some improving economic and market signals on Wall Street, women on Main Street continue to act cautiously," said Michael Kahn, SVP of Marketing at Performics. "Given that women are still the primary purchasers in many households, their views and plans on spending will have a material impact on how quickly and to what degree we rebound from this recession. "

The study also found shifts in the mindset among consumers in various geographical areas around the United States. Regionally, the Southwest portion of the United States, including states like Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, has sustained the most positive outlook. In July, those respondents said their current economic situation was better (32 percent), anticipated improvements this year (32 percent) and planned to spend more in the next 60 days (23 percent).

The West, however, including California, Oregon and Washington, has grown more pessimistic since April. By July, 63 percent of respondents from that region said their situation is worse than at the same time last year, compared to only 46 percent in April. Additionally, 53 percent expect to spend less online in the next 60 days, whereas 36 percent expected to spend less online in April.

"We've also continued to track and analyze overall findings across all demographics," notes Kahn. "During the first four months of the study, many of the findings have proven consistent in terms of how consumers are cutting back spending in response to the economy."

Across all consumers surveyed the percentage of respondents who say their household economic situation is either the same or better than it was at this time last year dipped a few points, to 53 percent in July, after peaking at 57 percent in June.

  • Online and offline consumers continue to watch their spending, with the highest cut backs on non-essentials like dining out, fashion accessories and apparel.
  • Cutting back spending on these non-essentials reached a four month high in July (38 percent) and remains the top reason why consumers plan to spend less.
  • Lack of confidence in the economy, at nine percent, remained at a four-month low, down from 17 percent in April.

Performics commissioned ROI Research to conduct this survey and monthly surveys through December 2009. The July survey was conducted over a two-day period among 300 consumers who have made an online purchase in the past six months. The study will collect consumer data each month to track and document changes in consumers' attitudes and behaviors in light of the current economy and will include additional topical questions with each monthly survey. Specifically, the research tracks the ongoing impact of the recession on online purchases and shifts in the use of the channel.

For complimentary copies of the complete July findings, please contact Addie Reed.

About Performics
Performics provides search and performance marketing solutions to more than 200 of the world's top brands.

Methodically innovative, we use the digital building blocks of search to create future-forward media opportunities designed to acquire and convert consumers. We help shape how consumers engage with advertisers online; we are impassioned visionaries who use structured approaches to anticipate and generate new brand experiences and leverage those events to drive ROI.

Headquartered in Chicago with offices around the world, Performics is the performance marketing expert inside Publicis Groupe's VivaKi Nerve Center. Performics is MarketingNext.

Visit us: http://www.performics.com

Media Contacts:
Andrew Caravella
Performics
312-739-0257

Addie Reed
PReturn Inc.
312-432-9406

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