Conducted by the Cognitive Sciences Department, this research focuses on the impact on women of the rising cost of living due to inflation. We review the lifestyle effects of inflation, how women are planning for the future, and their approach to purchasing decisions.
Inflation is a Regular Economic Challenge
A typical aspect of any economy, inflation refers to the general rise in prices of goods and services over time. It is normal and even necessary for some level of inflation to occur for economic growth. However, excessive inflation in a short period of time can significantly impact purchase decisions. Understanding how inflation affects our purchasing power and the strategies we can employ to navigate this major economic challenge is crucial for consumers’ financial stability.
In September of 2022, the Cognitive Sciences Department at AnalyticsIQ conducted a nationwide survey to learn more about how recent economic inflation has impacted the US across multiple populations differing by age, gender, and race. The results of this survey showed demographics play a major role in how heavily different groups are impacted.
Inflation Research Across All Audiences
All survey takers in the original inflation impact research were asked to provide an overall rating of how much recent inflation had affected them personally.
76% of respondents said inflation impacted them and their personal finances in a moderate amount or more
When examining differences among population segments, age, gender, and education levels were all significant contributors.
- Gen Z or Baby Boomers reported significantly less impact compared to Millennials and Gen X participants
- Women reported a higher impact than men in every age group and across all education levels
- Participants with no college education indicated more impact than those with a college education.
A Focus on How Inflation is Affecting Women
In our first report, females were one of the groups most affected by inflation across numerous measures.
As a result, the team decided to publish a second report with a greater depth of information focused only on women to better grasp the impact of this gender gap.
Changing Behaviors of Women Due to Inflation
When ranking the most impacted areas of life, like lifestyle choices, career, housing, and travel, females demonstrated more impact than men of the same education level and age group.
During times of higher inflation rates, men are looking to change the ways they invest. Women tend to often cut costs across categories like personal products and cancel subscriptions previously held.
When looking at the behavioral changes attached to respondents, larger percentages of women experienced more severity in every category — except changes made to their investment strategy. Women far outpaced men in categories such as delaying travel, adjusting the amount of personal products or switching to lower quality, and even buying fewer groceries.
While those changes are to be anticipated by marketers, other categories like seeking healthcare were also impacted at a rate 20% higher than in male respondents. Buying less or cheaper, delaying necessary purchases for their homes and health, using credit cards differently, and even canceling subscription services are all tactics women are using across the board to lessen the burden of inflation.
The Emotional Impact of Inflation on Women
In addition to the tangible financial concerns of inflation, we asked respondents about the emotional impacts of facing this continued challenge.
From less financial security and stability to increased anxiety and stress, the groups most affected aligned with the other questions posed. With more daily and physical stressors related to inflation, women respondents unsurprisingly also showed higher levels of stress and anxiety.
Women are experiencing 25% more stress and 28% more anxiety than men when considering the recent economic impact inflation has had on their lives.
Adapting to Better Serve Consumers During Times of High Inflation
As this economic trend continues, businesses are approaching consumers differently across verticals. Insurance and financial institutions have the opportunity for more conservative offerings and strategies for smaller budgets. The hospitality industry is bundling travel even more than before, and free trials for apps, streaming, and tiered options have become the norm.
Where the insights in this research are most useful is in providing a roadmap to where consumers, specifically women, are concerned and how to relieve pressure in their purchasing choices.
About the Department of Cognitive Sciences at AnalyticsIQ
AnalyticsIQ conducts research with a focus on cognitive science and its power to create unique and predictive data. Unlike a typical “survey,” our team of on-staff PhD Cognitive Psychologists design all of our questions to reliably get behind the “WHY” that leads consumers to make decisions.
This unique type of data is helpful in times when consumer behavior is volatile — and previous behaviors alone are not enough to predict future behaviors.
Looking to better connect with your key audiences in changing economic conditions? No problem. Our Cognitive Sciences team focuses on solving for market changes and understanding consumer behaviors every day. Reach out by emailing email@example.com, and let’s brainstorm.