Deerfield, IL- As part of ongoing industry research efforts, United Stationers has released "Reaching the Female Buyer," a white paper that details demographic data and purchase decision-making trends in the office products industry. Accompanying the research results are recommendations for how independent resellers can better understand, segment and capture key customer segments, including the female buyer.
"Nearly three-quarters (72%) of all those who aggregate office products orders on behalf of their colleagues are women," said Owen Carr, Consumer Research Marketing Manager at United Stationers. "While gender is not an absolute predictor of behavior or attributes, the consideration of certain known tendencies can be a reasonable starting point for resellers to adapt selling strategies accordingly."
The demographic research indicates that in a B2B setting, women are more receptive than men to consultative selling. Female buyers often tend to follow a more open, discovery-oriented process, while male buyers are more-likely to use a product-focused purchase process.
While men tend to be task-oriented, women tend to emphasize the overall buying experience more than men do, United's research adds. For example, women are more likely to know the identity of their preferred office provider (55%), placing greater emphasis than men on the overall reseller experience.
Additional key research findings from this study include:
- Multi-Media Approach: In the purchase process, women are more likely to use a combination of catalog, Internet and retail stores for purchasing. Women are 16% more likely than men to see print catalogs as a complement to the web.
- A Work Settings Play a Role: Women are twice as likely to work in an association or non-profit, education and insurance type of a setting, while men are more likely to work in traditional manufacturing, transportation, logistics and technology sectors.
- Age Matters: The majority of female buyers (64%) are over the age of 36, versus the majority of male buyers (76%) who are between the ages of 18-35.
"Each individual falls on a continuum of varying traits and behaviors. By better understanding unique buying processes and preferences, independent dealers can adjust their strategies accordingly to win in the marketplace," says Carr.
In addition to research findings and statistics, the white paper outlines recommendations based on United's 7 Moves to Win business strategy.
"From surveying customers to get a better understanding of their needs, to making a discovery questionnaire for your next sales call, United recommends several ways to help dealers reach the female buyers they serve," said Carr.