What motivates women to buy?

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Valuing, understanding and targeting women for improved cookstoves purchase

With the support of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Women’s Empowerment Fund, Mercy Corps undertook an applied research project from March-January 2014, building on our earlier work and investment in the sector. The overall objective of the project was to identify scalable sales, marketing and financing strategies for increasing improved cookstove purchases among female consumers within the East Acholi sub-region of northern Uganda.

In Uganda, and globally, women are powerful consumers. They’re also often overlooked, undervalued and misunderstood. As a result, businesses miss out on vital sales and overall market growth. At the same time, consumers miss out on products and services that can significantly improve their economic opportunities and overall quality of life. This is the case with improved cookstoves in East Acholi.

At the start of Mercy Corps’ research, women did not yet account for half of improved cookstove purchases in East Acholi. By and large, resellers could not articulate what motivated women to buy or what inhibited their ability to purchase improved cookstoves distinct from men. As a result, a product built for women wasn’t getting to them.

To help to address this missed opportunity, Mercy Corps’ led an applied research initiative that closely collaborated with improved cookstove suppliers, distributors and retailers to devise best-fit strategies for targeting female consumers and increasing their improved cookstove purchases.

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