Little People, Big Decisions

When we were getting ready to adopt our little girl, I thought I was prepared for the inevitable life disruptions: sleep deprivation, diaper duty, feeding conundrums. But I was completely unprepared for one of the more overwhelming aspects of early parenthood: choosing baby products and gear.

Like many parents, I felt a lot of pressure to get it right. I wanted products that fit my life and, more importantly, that would be safe and comfortable for my daughter. Combine that with the vast quantity of information available, and suddenly I had a whole new project to tackle. I spent hours scrutinizing ratings and reviews, scouring online forums, analyzing comparison charts, and cross-referencing recall databases. Diaper duty was starting to seem like a walk in the park.

It turns out I wasn’t alone. Our research shows that 52% of moms feel overwhelmed by the experience of buying baby products in the first year of parenthood. Some online communities have found ways to share information in order to help. But brands and retailers can make this process a lot easier – even fun.

Streamline her shopping

Motherhood comes with an additional 10 hours per day of parenting responsibilities, so it’s no wonder moms are chronically pressed for time. You can help them be more efficient by streamlining the decision-making process. Offer easy-to-use shopping tools, such as side-by-side comparison charts for similar offerings in your product line, and provide clear, concise information that won’t add to Mom’s confusion. Don’t just give her antiseptic specs about weight and size. Make products relevant to her everyday life with out-of-the-box photos or demo videos. 

Connect her with other moms

When it comes to researching products and gear, moms depend on recommendations from other parents more than any other factor. Our research shows that 73% of moms rely on product recommendations from parenting social media, and that posts from other moms are 55% more influential than posts from a brand. Social media amplifies word-of-mouth. It represents an opportunity to recruit powerful ambassadors for your brand. So make it as easy as possible for moms to share their feedback about your products, and encourage them to read what others are saying.

Reach her through retailers

After Mom has finished her research in online communities and on social media sites, her next stop is usually a retailer. But that doesn’t mean she’s finished gathering information. Our studies show that 38% of moms use retailer apps to check product reviews while they’re in the store. Savings are also a big consideration at this stage: 65% of moms say they’re more likely to pay attention to a brand’s ad if it includes a coupon, and 78% of moms like or follow brands on social media in order to get coupons or discounts. Retailers can help move Mom toward the register by allowing her to access product reviews on her mobile device and by making it easy to get those all-important coupons and discounts.

Shopping for baby gear can be one of the more stressful and overwhelming aspects of new parenthood. I remember feeling real anxiety about my choices: Would my daughter be safe in her new car seat? Was I a bad parent for choosing a mid-range stroller? For marketers, it’s important not just to help parents navigate products and specs, but to help them feel confident in the decisions they make. By understanding their real day-to-day challenges, and communicating openly and honestly in language they can understand, we can help new parents get the gear they need – and feel good about it.

Tags: moms
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2 comments about "Little People, Big Decisions".
  1. Lauri Chertok from Measuringupapp , April 11, 2014 at 1:36 p.m.
    This is a wonderful article, hitting the hot spots of alot of moms. I have personally witnessed the overwhelm that comes with buying the right necessities for their children, especially when it comes to clothing. In an effort to help moms, Measuringupapp was developed. It is a means to help moms organize their children's clothing while teaching them how to get the right fit the first time. I love ways that take the unnecessary chaos out of the day and give more time to just ENJOY the kids.
  2. Kipp Jarecke-Cheng from Nurun , April 11, 2014 at 1:56 p.m.
    Nice post with good recommendations for retailers and manufacturers. For what it's worth, I would add that dads also play important roles in decision-making and purchasing of baby gear cuz, you know, moms aren't the only parents who buy stuff for our kids.