Capturing Mom's Holiday Shopping Dollars

Just in time for the holidays and mom's rush to cross gifts off her list, the Marketing to Moms Coalition, a nonprofit industry group, has released the results its "Moms Holiday Spending Trends 2009" report.

The group surveyed 1,225 moms with children under 18 living at home. Some might predict that in a recovering economy that moms would be condensing her gift list and tightening her budget. Just the contrary, most moms plan to spend the same amount this year compared to last year. In fact, moms with older children expect to spend more than last year. This is good news for marketers and brands with the right marketing plans in place to capture holiday sales.

Let me share some of the highlights:

Gifts Vary by Kids' Age Groups - Teens Top Spending

Overall, moms will spend $672 this year, consistent with last year's spending levels with the top hot gifts for young children being toys (51%), clothing (29%), books (26%), movies (23%) and video games (8%). Top gift choices for children aged 7 to 12 being video games (30%), toys (29%), books/clothing (tied at 28%), movies (25%) and music (20%). Popular gifts for teens being music/music electronics (28%), clothing (27%), gift cards (23%), beauty products/video games (21%), and movies (19%). Compared to the total sample of moms, moms of teens plan to spend the most on holiday gifts.

Big ticket electronics like computers and cell phones will likely see a decrease in holiday sales this year. Of moms who plan to buy a gift for 7-12 year olds, 15% fewer will by computers, while 5% fewer moms plan to buy computers for teenagers this year.

Where Mom Will Shop

The majority of Moms plan to shop at mass merchandisers/supercenters for the holidays (85%), although that is down 2% from 2008. Anticipated holiday shopping this year has increased significantly for department (up 10% to 47% in 2009) and electronics stores (up 13% to 41% in 2009). Of all retailers, shoe stores are taking the hit the most in 2009 -- down 8% versus last year.

Moms with higher household income ($75,000+) plan to shop at more places, including department, specialty clothing, club and sporting goods stores, while those with lower income skew to dollar stores. Compared to other ethnic groups, English-speaking Hispanic moms are more likely to shop at electronics stores, while African American moms are more likely to hit dollar and shoe stores.

Buying Online Still Part of the Plan

Consistent with last year, most moms will do a lot of their shopping online this year as 16% of Moms plan to do 50% or more of their holiday shopping online. Moms with higher education and higher household income are consistently planning to do more of their shopping online than other moms. Toys (41%), clothing/clothing accessories (38%) and music/movies (34%) are the top three items Moms plan to buy online for the 2009 holidays.

Capturing Mom's Holiday Dollars

Marketers who want to capture mom's holiday dollars need to remember a few of the key principals of marketing to moms.

Help moms simplify her life. Make it easy for her to purchase your product. This means offering her complimentary accessories for products, suggesting hot sellers and sending her sale emails between 10 p.m. and midnight when she's online shopping.

Nurture a relationship with her through social media. Seek out moms who are looking for product by searching www.summize.com for moms tweeting about your product and then respond with information or answers.

Multitask with the multi-minder. She's on the move so make sure she finds your marketing messages along the away. Social media is great but it's only one piece of an integrated marketing plan. Don't forget to utilize local mom mavens offline, radio, couponing and peer reviews.

Engage her in a relevant conversation. It's called social media because parties socialize. Join into holiday conversations with moms via interactive online videos on sites like Momtv.com, Twitter Parties such as GNO (Girls Night Out events) or Facebook groups such as 24/7 Moms or Circle of Moms.

Now is the time to set your strategy for the holiday season. Moms will spend their money somewhere this year, shouldn't it be with you?

More information about the coalition and the State of the American Mom Report, including the 2009 Holiday shopping trends data can be found at www.marketingtomomscoalition.org.

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