That stereotype of a woman with a closet full of shoes may be more accurate than you think! Last year, women’s footwear sales reached roughly $24.6 billion, representing the largest segment in the shoe industry, and it’s expected to keep growing. 59% of women cite needing to replace worn out shoes as their main reason for purchase, but 38% cite taking advantage of a great sale as the main motivator to buy. Cold winters in many parts of the country may have driven sales of outdoor boots, which saw double-digit growth in 2014, but women’s shopping habits show that they can often be swayed to purchase shoes at any time, so long as there is an incentive to do so. Brands that offer discounts or sales are inviting women to gift (with less guilt!) themselves, or their friends, with a little extra pep in their step.
Shoes for Everyone: The Young vs. Mature Shopper
Overall, shoe shoppers skew younger (18-34), and these women draw their shoe inspiration both from magazines and online fashion sites. They are influenced by trends, and motivated by fashion, impulse and the in-store shopping experience. Driving higher shoe sales within the younger generation of female shoppers are impulse buys as well as a desire to update their wardrobes and, of course, treat themselves! While women over 55 are less likely to buy on impulse, they’re willing to pay for the highest quality (and most comfortable) shoes.
And the Top Category Performer is…
Athletic footwear is the most widely purchased type of shoe across both the female and male segments. Six in 10 consumers have purchased at least one pair of sports shoes in the past year. In the past two years, fashion footwear sales have slightly decreased, while work and occupational shoe sales increased 14%.
How Your Brand Can Step Up its Game & Take Advantage of Women’s Shopping Habits
We see opportunity in the footwear as gift sector as, increasingly, women are buying shoes for loved ones. In the past year, more than 50% of women 18-54 purchased men’s footwear for their significant other or family member.