Seven Rituals Of The New Shopping Superhero

Accompanied by her trusty sidekicks—mobile and social—today’s mom wields purchase power far and wide.

“If we ever move, it had better be to someplace with good grocery delivery, because I'm not sure I can live without online ordering!”—a mom

Motherhood triggers big changes: how women spend their time, how they consume media. We hear from moms every day that she also shops differently now. We wanted to find out why. And by working with comScore, we compared her to the general Internet population. What we found in our “2011 Shopping Rituals of the American Mom” report was striking.

The use of social, mobile, and digital tools transform Mom into a shopping superhero. Sixty percent are more likely than the general population to have shopped via a mobile browser. Sixty percent subscribe to one or more group buying services, 36% share group deal information with their social graph, and 34% have texted a picture of a product to a friend before purchasing, compared to only 10% of the general population.

I’d like to introduce you to her rituals:

1. She’s shopping around, because she knows that options are only a click away. A full three-quarters of moms shopped online in the past 30 days and half would do all of their shopping  online. That’s a lot of online shopping! She’s using a variety of tools and services to get the job done: 53% of moms use expert parent sites to get product recommendations and 48% use retailer websites. One mom told us: “I was in the Babies R Us store in the gates aisle and I went on my phone to the BRU website and ordered the gate online, with the "ship-to-store" option, so that I could pick it up while I was at the store. I saved $10!”

Action: Execute complementary digital, mobile, and in-store programs that leverage each medium’s ability to support moms’ needs and behaviors.

2. She’s shopping as a sport, promoting savings to build social currency and seeking discounts and deals before buying items big or small. She uses coupons, barcode scanners, QR codes, and buying services to compete—84% agree with the statement: “When I save money on a shopping trip by using coupons, sales or other deals, I feel like I won.”

Action: Give mom offers at unexpected times and in new places. Enable her to share with others and reward her efforts to create loyalty.

3. She’s reading the labels and is willing to make trade-offs based on price, effort and availability; but she won’t skimp on safety. More than half prefer purchasing organic or natural alternatives when shopping for groceries. Case in point? This mom says: “I will spend a little more at the farmer's market or Trader Joe's, because I know I am supporting something I love and believe in.”

Action: Detail Dr. Mom with info & ingredients; educate her on causes in support of children’s health and safety.

4. She’s demanding convenience, rewarding brands that simplify her life and will pay more to make her life easier. Thirty-eight percent would pay for online shipping to save time, and 35% of moms agree that simplicity, multiuse, and convenience are the biggest priorities in the technologies she buys. One of our moms hasn’t shopped in a physical store at Christmas in 10 years: “Let’s put it this way, I recycle A LOT of cardboard!”

Action: Demonstrate that you get her needs by focusing on convenience, ease of use and saving time.

5. She’s enlisting new support, relying on others for help, outsourcing and delegating parts of the purchase process, and is quick to embrace new services that enable her to get the job done faster and smarter. She crowd-sources for research and over-indexes compared to gen pop in posting online reviews (62% vs. 50%).

Action: Develop tools that allow her to easily activate her network and you’ll win her loyalty.

6. She’s expecting more from retail, demanding support throughout the shopping process and requiring retailers to provide that in-store. Forty-nine percent of moms (vs. 32% of the general population) think it’s important to have seamless interchanges between e-commerce and physical retail, such as the ability to return a product.

Action: Create an environment of hospitality and convenience and you’ll win repeat business.

7. She’s putting the calendar to work, using key developmental, family, and cultural moments to trigger shopping events and instigate changes in brand preference and purchase criteria. Thirty-four percent of women changed financial services brands after becoming a mom.

Action: Tailor your marketing to mom’s specific life stage and needs.

Empowered with new tools and the skills to use them, mom is charting new paths to the register with confidence and mastery. And her influence and purchase power are growing across all categories, from financial services to technology.

The 21st Century Mom is a leading indicator for the future of shopping. The rituals they rely on have lessons not only for the marketers who target them, but for brands across a broad range of categories far beyond the nursery. Watch her and learn—mom still has a few things left to teach us.

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