Conscious consumers are key to women-owned purchases and sales

November 06, 2020, 3:00 PM UTC

There are 13 million businesses in the US that are owned, operated, and controlled by one or more women. But despite the success and innovation brought on by these businesses, the revenue disparity between women-owned and all businesses has grown within the last decade.

Women-owned businesses account for 42% of all US businesses, supplying more than 9 million jobs across the country and bringing in $1.9 trillion in revenue. Closing this revenue gap benefits everyone, not just women.

What can we learn from women-owned purchases? 

YouGov’s Social Change Monitor tracks consumer behavior on a range of social movements, including gender equality. The Social Change Monitor reports that 16% of US consumers had purchased from a women-owned business in the preceding 30 days.

Consumers who buy from women-owned businesses are more values-oriented. Almost three quarters (73%) of consumers who buy women-owned say a brand’s values and positions are important to their purchase decision.

The customer-base for women-owned firms is more affluent than average: 22% of customers are in household incomes earning more than $100k year.

Unsurprisingly they are more likely to be women (63%), feminist (79%) and conscious of the impact of gender inequality: 57% of people who buy women-owned believe that being a woman hurts one’s ability to get ahead.

Younger people are more likely to be buying women-owned (55% are either millennials or Gen Z), while Black Americans (15%) and parents (31%) are also over-represented among customers relative to the general population.

Politically such consumers are more likely to identify as Democrat than average (48% vs. 33%), and call themselves liberal (47% vs. 28%).

The YouGov Social Change Monitor tracks consumer attitudes towards equality and fairness on several social movements, including gender equality. For more information about the YouGov Social Change Monitor, contact social.change@yougov.com