Multicultural Women Highly Connected to Smartphones

November 15, 2011

nielsen-us-women-media-adoption.jpgMore than 3 in 5 African American, Hispanic, and Asian American women in the US have a smartphone in their household, compared to just one-third of Caucasian women, according to [download page] a November 2011 report from Nielsen. Data from “Women of Tomorrow” indicates that levels of adoption among other technologies are much more similar: roughly 95% of women across all ethnicities are connected to the Internet and TV, slightly edging cell phone penetration rates. TV has the highest level of penetration for Asian American (98%), African American (96%), and Caucasian (96%) women, while the internet takes primacy among Hispanic women (97%).

New Media Improves Lives

72% of Asian American women in the US believe that smartphones are making their lives better, ahead of roughly two-thirds of women among the other ethnicities studied. Meanwhile, Asian American and Caucasian women are slightly more likely than African American and Hispanic women to believe that their cell phones and computers make their lives better. Among traditional media, only one-third of Asian American women believe that TV or radio have that effect, while about one-quarter of Caucasian and Hispanic women feel the same way. According to Nielsen insight, while TV may not be seen as improving their lives, American women tend to watch TV to get information about new products and services: African American, Hispanic, and Caucasian women all said that TVs were their preferred media in that respect, while Asian American women turned to the internet.

Price is Key Purchase Factor

Although value trumps price as the key driver of foot traffic, once in a store, price becomes the key factor in purchase decisions for American women of all ethnicities. Value for the money and promotions are the second and third-ranked factors among all women, though value takes the second rank among African American and Hispanic women and third among Asian American and Caucasian women. Availability and familiarity with a brand are fourth and fifth respectively among all ethnicities.

Price is also important to mothers: according to a November report from BabyCenter in association with comScore, 95% of mothers find comfort and price to be important criteria when shopping for apparel, followed by versatility and ease of cleaning (both at 86%). Prior to becoming mothers, design / look (92%), self-expression (82%) and color choice (82%) were important to most women, while price (65%), comfort (59%), and versatility (54%) were of appeal to a smaller subset. Similarly, during the transition to motherhood, the most important purchase criteria when shopping for personal care products change from fragrance and the reflection of personality to price, up 40% to the #1 spot, safety, up 33% to the #2 spot, and low maintenance looks, up 57% to #3 on the list.

Women Primary Decision Makers

nielsen-women-decision-makers.jpgAccording to the Nielsen report, American women tend to see themselves as the primary decision makers for purchases across many of the categories associated with running a household, such as food and household cleaning. And while Asian American and Caucasian women are more likely to include men in the purchase decision about food than African American and Hispanic women, Asian American women view themselves as the primary decision makers for other categories such as home electronics, personal electronics, insurance, and family finances.

These findings affirm Nielsen survey results from September revealing that women see themselves as the primary drivers of a variety purchases in the African-American consumer demographic. While there were no categories where men were seen as the primary purchase drivers (automobiles/other transportation has the highest rating for men being the primary drivers, 20%), there were few categories where a large percentage said men and women have equal influence on purchase decisions. These were locations for social activities (women 50% and men/women equally 47%), personal electronics (women 47% and men/women equally 41%) and automobiles/other transportation (women 49% and men/women equally 31%).

Other Findings

  • Asian American women feel the highest levels of stress, with 58% saying they often feel pressured for time, 46% saying they have no time to relax, and 48% saying they feel stressed or overworked most of the time.
  • After covering expenses, paying off debts is a high priority for all American women in terms of allotting additional money, coming in first for African American and Hispanic women, second for Caucasian women, and third for Asian American women.

About the Data: The Nielsen survey polled 760 women across the US in varying multicultural groups – Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American, and Caucasian/White. The survey was fielded online in June 2011.

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