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Women's market a bigger opportunity than China and India: Survey

07 March 2011

Spending by women around the globe is projected to increase by $US5 billion over the next five years, making the women's market a more attractive sector to target than India and China.

The data is based on a survey from Boston Consulting Group, which asked over 12,000 women in 22 counties (including 480 from Australia) a series of 120 questions covering spending, work and home-life patterns.

The survey reveals huge opportunities for Australian business. Australian women reported higher demands on their time than the global sample and also said they had higher stress levels than women in other parts of the world (55% of Australian women said they were unsatisfied with their stress level, compared to the global average of 49%).

BCG partner James Goth said in a statement the survey revealed that women needed time for themselves, and they were willing to pay for it.

\"The opportunity for local business is better than most. Australian women are more pressured and stressed, and they also have more control over household spending - 72% compared to the global average of 64%. This translates into more than $200 billion in discretionary spending every year.\"

The survey points to some specific areas for local companies to focus on. BCG says the average Australian respondent felt least understood by financial services companies, car companies, insurance companies and medical professionals.

She was most likely to \"trade up\" on bedding, food, restaurants, personal clothing and cosmetic procedures, and most likely to look for cost savings on lotteries and gambling, mobile phones, internet service providers, car rental and air travel.

The global research indicates women currently control spending of around $US12 trillion and this will climb by $5 trillion over the next five years.

In Australia, spending by women is expected to rise 48% to $222 billion over the same period.

The survey also argues that Australian women carry an outsized burden when it comes to the task or running a household. The survey shows:

93% are responsible for grocery shopping (63% say they have sole responsibility).

92% are responsible for meal preparation (55% sole).

93% are responsible for childcare (52% sole).

90% are responsible for cleaning (52% sole).

86% are responsible for household administration (68% sole).

Despite this, Australia rated strongly on a BCG index tracking global equality, placing fifth behind Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland but ahead of the US and Britain.

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