The handbag market can be divided into segments, each with its own needs and wants. The key to successful marketing is understanding these different markets and targeting them with the right products.

One of the most popular methods for performing handbag market segmentation uses demographic factors like age, gender, and income level.

Other methods use psychographic factors like lifestyle and personality type, as well as behavioral factors like how often someone buys handbags.

In this article, we will look at handbags in terms of 11 different variables: price range, style, color, size, occasion, gender, age group, income, lifestyle, personality type, and frequency of purchase.

But first, let’s start by understanding why it is important to use market segmentation when selling handbags.

The Importance of Segmentation of the Handbag Market

The segmentation of the market for handbags is essential because it allows handbag manufacturers and retailers to target specific groups of consumers with laser precision.

By understanding the needs and wants of different segments, businesses can create products that are more likely to appeal to them and retailers can stock the handbags that their customers are most likely to buy.

The market for handbags ranges from those looking for a practical everyday bag to those searching for a luxury item.

There are handbags for every budget and every style, but not all handbags are equally popular with all consumers.

Some handbags are only bought by a small group of people while others are must-haves for the majority of handbag buyers.

By segmenting the market, businesses can identify which handbags are most popular with each group and target their marketing and sales efforts accordingly.

Variables for Handbag Market Segmentation

Handbag market segmentation can be performed along the following 11 axes:

  1. Price range
  2. Style
  3. Color
  4. Size
  5. Occasion
  6. Gender
  7. Age group
  8. Income,
  9. Lifestyle
  10. Personality type and
  11. Frequency of purchase

Most handbag manufacturers cannot possibly cater to all handbag buyers, so they must focus on those segments that are most likely to buy their products.

This also has an impact on branding because different segments will respond to different marketing messages. Also, a brand that establishes itself as a luxury handbag brand cannot easily switch to targeting the budget handbag market without damaging its reputation.

For example, a handbag that is marketed as a stylish accessory for young women is likely to have a very different branding from one that is targeted at busy working mothers.

It is also important to note that handbags are often bought as gifts, so the occasion for purchase is also an important variable to consider. This is why many retailers perform occasion segmentation to target different consumers on different occasions.

It is therefore essential that businesses decide which segments they want to target and then design their handbags, marketing, and sales strategy accordingly.

Let’s now look in detail at each of the 11 variables used in handbag market segmentation.

Segmentation Based on Handbag Price Range

One of the most obvious ways to segment the handbag market is by price range. Handbags can be divided into three broad categories: budget, mid-priced, and luxury.

Budget handbags are those that cost less than $50, mid-priced handbags are those that cost between $50 and $200, and luxury handbags are those that cost more than $200.

Of course, these ranges are approximate and depend on the perception of value in the eyes of the buyer. For instance, some luxury handbags at Harrod’s of London can cost thousands of dollars.

The handbag market is very competitive, so businesses need to know which price range they want to target.

Budget handbags are popular with younger shoppers and those on a tight budget. Mid-priced handbags are popular with a wide range of consumers, from college students to busy moms.

Luxury handbags are popular with affluent shoppers and those who want to make a statement or have money to splurge.

Segmentation Based on Handbag Style

Handbags come in various styles like shoulder bags, totes, crossbody bags, clutches, and evening bags.

Some handbags are designed for a specific purpose like work, travel, or sports while others are more general-purpose.

The style of handbag that a consumer chooses is often dictated by their lifestyle and personality.

For instance, someone who leads an active lifestyle is likely to choose a handbag that can be worn crossbody so that their hands are free.

Someone who wants to make a fashion statement is more likely to choose an evening bag or clutch. For them, the handbag is just a fashion accessory.

Workers in formal office environments are likely to prefer shoulder bags or totes. Tote bags are also popular with moms as they can be used to carry a lot of things like diapers and baby wipes.

Crossbody bags are popular with travelers as they are more secure and can be worn hands-free.

Clutches are often seen as elegant evening bags but can also be used during the day.

We’ll cover the lifestyle and personality segments in detail later in the article.

Segmentation Based on Handbag Color

Handbags come in all sorts of colors, from the classics black and brown to more vibrant shades like pink and red.

Some handbags are even color-block or two-tone. The color of a handbag can say a lot about the personality of the wearer.

For instance, someone who likes to stand out from the crowd is more likely to choose a brightly-colored handbag.

Someone who wants a handbag that will go with everything is more likely to choose classic colors like black, brown, or white.

The occasion for which someone is buying a handbag can also dictate their choice of color. For instance, a black handbag is more appropriate for a funeral than a brightly-colored one.

White handbags are often seen as summery and beachy while dark colors like navy are associated with winter.

Color segmentation is therefore an important way to target different handbag consumers.

Segmentation Based on Handbag Size

Handbags come in all sorts of sizes, from small coin purses to large shoulder bags.

The size of the handbag that a consumer chooses to buy is often dictated by how they intend to use it.

For instance, someone who only needs to carry a few essentials like a phone and wallet is likely to choose a small handbag.

Someone who needs to carry a lot of things like a laptop, books, and a change of clothes is likely to choose a larger handbag.

Segmentation Based on Occasion of Purchase

People purchase handbags for many different occasions. When a purchase is made linked to a specific occasion, it is usually made for someone else. This is an important factor that retailers need to consider when targeting handbag consumers.

Handbags make great gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, and Mother’s Day. They are also often given as graduation or bridesmaids gifts.

Retailers often use occasion segmentation to promote handbags as gifts.

For instance, they may advertise handbags as the perfect Mother’s Day gift or Christmas gift.

Handbag Market Segmentation Based on Gender

A majority of handbags are purchased by or for women. However, there is a growing market for handbags designed specifically for men.

Handbags for women tend to focus on style and fashion while handbags for men tend to focus on functionality.

For instance, a woman’s handbag is more likely to have compartments for makeup and other beauty products.

A man’s handbag is more likely to have a laptop sleeve or other compartments for work-related items.

Some handbag retailers have started to target male consumers with advertising and handbag collections that are designed to appeal to them.

While the handbags that men use are often similar in function to those used by women, they are often different in terms of style and design.

For instance, men’s handbags are often more functional and less adorned than women’s handbags.

They are also often made from different materials, like leather or canvas.

Handbag Market Segmentation Based on Age

Age is an important factor to consider when segmenting the handbag market.

This is because different age groups tend to prefer different styles of handbags.

For instance, younger women are more likely to choose trendy handbags while older women are more likely to prefer classic styles.

Middle-aged women are more likely to be concerned with functionality and may therefore prefer larger handbags that can accommodate their needs.

Age segmentation is therefore an important way to target different handbag consumers.

Handbag Market Segmentation Based on Income

While income is a factor based on which the market for handbags can be segmented, people will often spend disproportionately on handbags regardless of their income.

This is because handbags are often seen as a status symbol and a way to show off. In other words, for many people, handbags are an extension of their personality and style. They are a fashion accessory.

Income segmentation is, therefore, an important factor when performing handbag market segmentation. All said and done, people who have higher disposable income are more likely to spend more on handbags than those who have a lower income.

For instance, someone with a higher income may be willing to spend thousands of dollars on a designer handbag while someone with a lower income may have to accept a budget handbag.

Handbag Market Segmentation Based on Lifestyle

People’s lifestyles often impact the handbags they purchase. For instance, someone with an active lifestyle is likely to choose a smaller handbag that is easier to carry around.

On the other hand, someone who has a more sedentary lifestyle and only needs to carry their handbag from their car to their office is likely to choose a larger handbag.

Someone’s lifestyle also dictates what they need to carry in a handbag, which in turn, dictates the type of bag they are likely to purchase.

Handbag Market Segmentation Based on Personality Type

Lifestyle and personality often go hand in hand and as we saw earlier while discussing handbag style, the customer’s personality can have an oversized influence on their handbag choice.

A handbag is often seen as an extension of one’s personality and many people will use it to make a statement about themselves or their views.

As we’ve already seen, personality can impact the choice of handbag color. Someone with a more outgoing personality may choose a brighter handbag while someone with a more subdued personality may prefer a classic black handbag.

Personality segmentation, therefore, can be used very effectively to sell handbags at premium prices to those who can relate a handbag to their personality.

Handbag Market Segmentation Based on Frequency of Purchase

The final factor we will consider is the frequency of handbag purchases. This is an important factor as it dictates how much money a customer is likely to spend on a handbag.

For instance, someone who only buys a handbag every few years is likely to spend more on a handbag than someone who buys one every few months.

Frequency of purchase can also be used to segment the handbag market by those who are looking for a handbag as an investment piece and those who view it as a fashion accessory that they are willing to replace often.


As you can see, the target market for handbags can be segmented using many, many variables and can be analyzed from different angles.

In this article, we performed handbag market segmentation following these 11 factors: price range, style, color, size, occasion, gender, age group, income, lifestyle, personality type, and frequency of purchase.

Handbag manufacturers and retailers often use market segmentation to better understand their customers and figure out how to appeal to them.

With handbag market segmentation, they can better understand which handbags are likely to sell well and can target their audiences more effectively.