According to the new survey, women are more likely to make impulsive purchasing decisions. However, male shoppers tend to snap up special offers, with a high chance of switching brands.

Gender behaviour behind the supermarket trolley is the core focus of the new research released by Checkout Magazine, conducted by Empathy Research. The research found that nearly half of women (49%) undertake the responsibility for their household shopping, compared to under one third of men (30%). Furthermore, it was found that married women (43%) are much more likely than married men (15%) to do the shopping for the house.

Results showed that 40 per cent of women, have a tendency to make an impulse purchase every time they shop (15% “all the time”), compared to 29 per cent of male shoppers (6% “all the time”). Checkout Magazine editor, Stephen Wynne-Jones stated, “While this study indicates the subtle differences between how men and women conduct their weekly shop, both sexes have more in common than may have been previously thought”. He continued, “Arguably the biggest difference, however, is seen in the shopping habits of married men compared to single men – married men tend to have significantly less responsibility for doing the shopping, and are considerably more attentive when doing so.”

The study shows that men are marginally more swayed towards special offers, with 87 per cent claiming special offers to be an influence, compared to the figure of 83 per cent of women. Additionally, men are less loyal to brands than women, with 76 percent of men likely to switch brand to avail of an offer, compared to 71 per cent of women.

Director of Empathy Research, Robbie Clarke said that, “What’s interesting is the level of impulse purchases claimed amongst shoppers and the fact that women are more likely to be partaking in impulse purchasing”.

“This perhaps puts pay to a common misconception that men are more impulsive and unplanned when they are shopping.”


The survey was carried out on grocery shoppers aged 18 and over, across a sample of 500.