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Gender roles are no longer as accurate as it once was. There is now a trend of reserved roles. This is due to the continued growth in a number of dual income households. There has been an increase of women in the workforce in the fast few years.
Women in the paid workforce spend less time shopping than the stay at home women. They tend to shop in the evenings and on weekends due to their busy schedules. They tend to swap stores which they shop in due to convenience. This happens due to the time constraints but still earning an income they are less likely to be price conscious. The working women are more likely to purchase convenience foods and products and they tend to be brand and store loyal.
In this current society women have different material (clothing) needs to the stay at home women versus the working women.
Males are now also more involved in purchasing household products. Some men now do their shopping via the internet rather than physically enter the stores. Because they use this type of method it is harder to record their purchasing habits. They have moved away from traditional roles. Women are now taking a greater role in deciding which products to buy. Buying decisions have moved away from being male/husband denominated to become automatic. i.e. many families now have two cars and they tend to make their purchase decision separate.
Direct marketers are now targeting time pressured women who use catalogues, telesales and internet sites as ways of shopping may it be for clothing as well as household and family needs. They have also used this method to target men who now also do the shopping.
Marketers who are aware of this change have developed changes to their product design and advertising appeal/styles. Some advertisements have been positive and some offending. I.e. Detergent Ads.
Marketers are increasingly attempting to cash in on the belief that men are getting in touch with their feminine side.
Many businesses have now marketed their services/ products to suit these changing gender roles. One of this is restaurants. Plenty of them now offer home delivery service. There is also an increase in takeaway stores catering for these busy men and women.
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Internet shopping has also been another source that marketers have developed to respond to this change. This method of shopping has made it very convenient to both men and women. Men can easily purchase or browse for what they need on-line without feeling embarrassed or judged while women can do their shopping for almost everything (household needs etc) without leaving their house. This resource is more efficient to the working parents who are restricted of time.
Another way marketers have answered to the changing gender roles is by the vast amount of childcare facilities. There is around 34 % of families with both parent are employed that are using childcare. (ABS, 1999 Child Care Survey). Balancing family and work is a challenge for many families and marketers have been able to provide. Some parents use this service so they can undertake studies, go shopping or to give parents a break.
Health & fitness is a new attitude in today’s society. People are now spending more time and money in physical awareness. Example – joining the gym, visiting health retreats etc. Consumers are now more health conscious meaning there is an increased number of people more aware of the products they are buying. They now check the labels to see how much fat, salt, sugar etc in the product. People are now buying more health products and supplements.
Marketers have responded to this by opening more health food stores containing natural products and items that will improve your health and lifestyle due to the increased demand of the these products. They have made the move from specialty shops to the local supermarket i.e vitamins are now available everywhere.
Another way marketers have reacted to the significant change is clearly identifying the contents of their products. Some have gone to the extent of placing on their labels how low the fat content is i.e 99% fat free. But some tend to be misleading because they are usually high in sugar. An example of marketers responding to consumers being more health aware is McDonalds. Their burger wrapping now show their contents. They have even introduced a new ‘Salad’s Plus Menu’ that include juices, salads, fruit etc.
Some book publishers have also developed many self help books for those people who want to improve their quality of health/life. There are also courses that will help individuals who want to achieve this.
Marketers have also developed lifestyle television shows and there is now a large range of magazines that promote this significant boom in the health/ lifestyle industries.
May companies who see this change have had to come up with new products i.e Fat free chips, diet soft drinks etc.