Women Sex and Shopping (WSS)
WSS is recognized as the definitive insight into the sexual dimension of the female consumer. Recent interviews/apearances in the media have included the Wall St Journal, The Economist, Huffington Post and Businessweek and go to illustrate the increasing commercial importance of a subject that is not understood in the detail that its importance warrants.
Women Sex and Shopping (WSS) was founded as a research programme in 2008 and is, as the title suggests, concerned with the complex interaction between women’s sexual behaviours, expectations and desires and the goods that they buy or the marketing and merchandising that they react to. To some observers this might seem to be a niche or inconsequential area but nothing could be further from the truth. The female consumer - and particularly older woman - are the most powerful consumers on the planet and in the Western Economies more than half of them are engaged in buying sexual goods of some sort. This might be sex toys or lubricant or, as Fifty Shades of Grey comprehensively proves, erotic literature. And yet, right across the spectrum it is an almost brand free sector.
- Globally, something like 100 million women are regular users of sex toys. This user number is particularly staggering when the immaturity of the market is considered and - historically -the dysfunctional nature of much of the retail element.
- Personal lubricant is quite clearly shown in WSS and other research studies to be of great benefit to many women of all ages but particularly so to older women where use can be transformational. And yet no Skincare brand makes or markets such a product and the female consumer is obliged to purchase goods in a way that is becoming increasingly incomprehensible. The consumer market arithmetic speaks for itself.
- Fifty Shades of Grey was an overwhelming success in the publishing sector and a clear signal that it is unwise to consider female sexuality, behaviours and expectations through a 1970's male looking glass.
- What constitutes the full range of Erotic Goods is an open question. High Heels and Stockings perhaps. And what about the items that women plainly have an appetite for such as the lighter side of BDSM? But who makes such things? Who sells them?
- The world has many examples of nice shops for women but very few sell the goods in question here. The WSS research shows that the majority of women envision exciting and immersive retail environments that don't really exist in reality. Is it posible that the High Street has failed to keep up?
Women Sex and Shopping uses a unique and revealing survey methodology that asks for handwritten responses across a range of questions that deal with behaviours, attitudes to products and buying histories. During 2013 WSS will increasingly be the voice of the sexually aware female consumer.
The 50 Best Products List
We have temporarily suspended this list as it caused confusion. Quite a lot of site visitors thought that we actually sold the products whereas the List was meant only to illustrate a point!
The point being that, for women, a whole range of goods from lingerie to sex toys and from lubricants to candles, have a powerful emotional impact and very often a retail linkage.
Women Sex and Shopping is the leading authority on emotional retail for women and on how the female consumer thinks and behaves. The implications for the future of retail both in store and online are far reaching. Find out why.
Women Sex and Shopping (WSS) is a research project run by market analyst company Hewson Group.
WSS is the only research of it's kind and analyses a key marketplace that has many implications for the way women will shop and the sort of retail environments they would most prefer.
Hewson Group is a market analyst company established in 1989 and widely regarded as one of the inititiators of the CRM (customer management) industry as well as being a key influence on e-government programmes globally. Buy the report.