Neuromarketing And The Female Shopping Brain


You’ve probably heard the saying that “Men Buy, And Women Shop”. But have you taken a moment to think about why men are more likely to buy whereas women are most likely to be found doing the shopping? In this article, I’m going to explore Neuromarketing And The Female Shopping Brain.

Would you like insights for women for your business? Use our panels of engaged women and our dedicated private platform to gather critical insights to help influence women to deliver long term profitability. Contact us now to find how we can help.

Of course, there will always be some overlap between genders and these behaviors, where some men love shopping and some women just want to buy, but on average, the saying of “Men Buy, And Women Shop” is quite accurate when it comes describing the purchasing behaviors of men and women.

And a lot of this comes down to differences in key brain structures, hormones, and hard wired evolutionary biological behaviors.

Although there are many commonalities between the brains of men and women, there are also some very important fundamental differences that play a role in influencing the buying decisions of females.

Fundamental Differences That Influence Buying Decisions of Females

In this blog post, we will focus on female shoppers, since women influence as much as 80% of all purchasing decisions in the household.  So, if women have so much power in the decision making process when it comes to buying, what are some of these factors that influences women’s buying behaviors?

To answer this question, let’s jump into the fun part!

We’re not talking about strategies here.  Everybody knows the common marketing strategies that include the likes of paids ads, SEO, social media, email marketing and so forth.

But what we’re really talking about here is something that goes beyond the “what” part in the marketing equation. We are transcending into the “How” and “Why” part of marketing.

Because once businesses truly understand what’s happening inside the brains of their customers they can more effectively trigger the subconscious drivers that influences a consumer’s buying decision and begin to meticulously match the proper marketing stimuli to these subconscious drivers.

Here’s where neuromarketing disrupts the traditional marketing world.

Maximising Your Marketing By Understanding What Happens in Female Brains

woman on phone at laptop

In order to fully maximise your marketing campaigns to effectively persuade females to choose your business as the #1 top of mind choice for your female consumers, brands now more than ever, especially with the current economic crisis, need to gain an exponentially deeper understanding of the underlying processes that happen inside the brains of females when it comes to making buying decisions.

This is crucial to connecting with your female customers since having a in-depth understanding of the primal brain will position your company to have the best success possible when you are able to understand their true wants, needs, desires and motivations to buy on a subconscious level.

The subconscious drivers are hard wired and stem from the primal part of the brain.  This has huge implications on buying behaviour, since the primal brain operates below the conscious mind but influences up to 95% of the consumers buying decisions.

So, let’s dive into how differences in some key brain structures, hormones, and evolutionary biological behaviors in the female brain impacts their purchasing decisions and then we will also include some practical neuromarketing tips that you can use today to keep your female customer’s primal brain happy.

Don’t Miss: What Women Told Us About Buying Behaviour

The Differences Between Male and Female Brains

Women Are More Sensitive To Emotional Stimuli

women at cafe

On a structural level – the most prominent key structural difference in the brain between men and women involves the limbic system.  This system is located in the midbrain and is considered the emotion and memory centre of the brain.

In women, the limbic system is generally larger and has more connectivity than in men, so women are much more sensitive to emotional stimuli, social cues, and are able to remember events in much greater detail compared to their male counterparts.

The larger limbic system most likely is the result of providing women the greatest chance of survival dating back to their ancestral days, where detailed memory recall, recognition of social cues and forming successful cliques with other females in the community.

This offered big advantages to women who were able to overcome sexual selective pressures during competition with other females in mate selection, successful rearing of offspring, and the gathering of food and other vital resources for her family.

So, if we apply this knowledge to today’s marketing world, we see that the female brain is programmed for social harmony.  This means that using large vivid visuals emphasizing the social aspect of a company’s core message is absolutely essential to connecting with the female audience.

But what will further enhance this gravitation towards social harmony in the female mind is showing people not only in close proximity to each other in the visual stimuli, but actually placing the people in physical touch with one another while displaying facial expressions of joy and happiness.

Key Takeaway: Since the larger limbic system enables women to have better memory recall of experiences, businesses should place heavy emphasis on storytelling and focus on accentuating the tangible and concrete aspects within the story itself by appealing to the 5 main senses.  This will lead to greater brand recognition and recall.

Hostility and Negativity Can Impact Women More

On a hormonal level, businesses need to be cognisant of the stress hormone cortisol.  When cortisol levels are high in women, this tends to have a more significant impairment on learning and recall.  In addition, the effects of elevated levels of cortisol in women are also prolonged since this hormone stays longer in the female body.

So, in the marketing world, core messaging that involves the hyper convergence of fear and conflict can create a spike and prolonged change in cortisol levels in females, which can diminish the persuasive power of the brand’s core messaging in their content.

Key Takeaway: Businesses targeting women should re-evaluate marketing stimuli that display hostility or strong negative words. (There are of course exceptions to this depending on the context of the situation.)

Don’t Miss: What Women Think About Online Shopping

Women Like To Check Out More Options


When women go shopping, why do they usually have to check a variety of stores before making a purchase when they may come across a product or service early on that adequately fulfills their to-do list?

Once again, this has to do with the combination of structural differences in the brain and evolutionary biological behaviors.  In females, they have more white matter and a tighter connection between their left and right hemispheres, which allows them to be better at multitasking compared to men.

This means that the female brain is more receptive to assessing a wider variety of options before making a decision, and they want to have the reassurance that they’ve made the right choice after making a decision.

So, this is why women will generally take more time to visit multiple stores in order to go through all the options during shopping, similar to what their ancestors in their role as gatherers had to do when they took their time to forage for food, such as berries.

They would look through a heap of berries on each bush and then pick out the most ripe berries to bring home to their families. In addition to this, ancestral women were also on the lookout for other food sources that would complement their batch of ripe berries.

Key Takeaway: How this translates into the marketing landscape for companies that want to gain a greater market share in the female demographic means providing their female audience with

  • a variety of options for the products or services they offer without causing cognitive overload, include a variety of complementary products and services which taps into their ancestral need to find complementary food sources,
  • impeccable customer service to provide as much information they need to make comparisons and answer any questions their female audience may have.
  • continuous support at every point along their buying journey to establish a trustful relationship, and then provide strong support and reassurance that they’ve made the correct choice when they buy from that business.

So, by looking at the key differences in brain structure, hormones, and evolutionary biological behaviors, companies can leverage this knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of how the subconscious drivers within the primal brain of their female audience influences their buying decision, so that businesses can make the adaptation to fulfilling the true desires of their female customers and transform their brand as the #1 top of mind choice to buy from.

The exciting part is that this is only the surface of what neuromarketing can do to transform a brand and transcend it into a top authority in their industry.  There is a whole next level that businesses can ascend to with neuromarketing. At Happy Buying Brain, we show companies exactly how to do this.

Related Articles