When you think about online shoppers, you probably think of a young urban hipster in a minimalist office scrolling through Amazon reviews on some sort of Apple technology. But maybe you should be picturing a mum. As Forbes has reported, mothers control 85% of household purchases, and in 2017 had a total spending power of $2.4 trillion US. When you combine the massive purchasing power of mothers with the millions of millennial women becoming parents every year, a different picture of your average online shopper emerges. She’s probably a young mother (millennial women now account for 82% of US births) and you need to find ways to reach her!
In spite of their crucial importance to the economy, mothers around the world still complain that they are misunderstood by the brands targeting them. One of mothers’ greatest frustrations with marketing and the media has been the fact that they’re usually placed into one of two boxes: working mums and stay at home mums. No one likes to be placed in a box and slapped with a broad label, and millennial mothers in particular place a great deal of importance on identity and Feminist issues. An easy way to annoy them is to relate to them as a stereotype. Brands have the tools to learn about their consumers as individuals, and shape their marketing around a mother’s hobbies, concerns, wants, and needs. It’s time to start using them.
It is possible to become too close to your consumers. Big data allows you to predict who will become pregnant with frightening accuracy. But targeting the newly pregnant has turned off as many customers as it has attracted. And sending email offers to women who might not be aware they’re pregnant or have recently miscarried could become a PR nightmare. We’d recommend you focus on using data to tailoring content to a mum's hobbies and passions, showing them that you value and respect their choices and lifestyle.
Millennials currently make up 30% of all online shoppers, and millennial spending is projected to reach $1.4 trillion in the US by 2020. Millennial consumers have proven to be channel agnostic, they’ll follow the best deals and experiences wherever that may lead them. But millennial parents are keen on shopping online and looking for product reviews and information on the internet. 72% of millennial parents say they use Youtube to make better purchases and 75% say they’re open to watching branded content when seeking guidance on parenting topics.
With parents viewing the internet as a precious resource for guidance and advice, brands would be wise to invest in online parenting platforms. Some observers credit “Mom Blogs” with creating the influencer paradigm, and as one successful blogger has written, mothers “now execute complex content marketing campaigns, seamlessly weaving brand messaging into their own relatable voices.” China (and Alibaba) is once again ahead of the curve here, with Babytree (a parenting platform backed by the tech giant) attracting 200 million monthly active users. The platform has raised $731 million in funding and currently has a market valuation of $2.2 billion. As more and more millennials become parents, look for a boom in online parenting platforms.
If you’re looking to get new parents to try your product, creating shoppable content is a must. New parents are generally overwhelmed by a lack of sleep and a host of new responsibilities. They’re also looking online for solutions to the problems they’re encountering. If you can become a trusted source of information, or reach them through a channel they trust, you’ll create interest in your product. Shoppable videos and emails will allow them to buy what you’re selling and spare them a time-wasting, headache-inducing trip to the shops with a crying baby. No one will appreciate a smooth path to that crucial first purchase more than a new mother!
We’ve written about the “Replenishment Economy” before. Certain products are ideal for online replenishment through smart speakers, dash buttons, or shoppable packaging. These items have predictable demand, customers are loyal to their preferred brand, and they’re bulky and annoying to carry around. Items like pet food, laundry detergent, nappies, and baby wipes offer replenishment and loyalty potential unmatched by most other FMCG products. Once a tech-savvy millennial customer has found a product they like in these categories, they’re increasingly likely to keep re-ordering it online.
Why is this important for brands targeting mums? It identifies a factor that will be just as crucial for future success as that first purchase: offering a convenient way to replenish when supplies run low.
Subscription services such as Dollar Shave Club and Amazon Subscribe and Save have been growing, but they’re facing a major challenge: Consumers HATE subscriptions. Whether it’s fear of commitment, waste, hidden fees or something intangible, McKinsey has noted that the requirement to sign up for a recurring purchase dampens demand. But consumers also crave the convenience of easy product replenishment, and financial incentives are the leading reason why they sign up for replenishment subscriptions.
If your brand can find a way to offer similar levels of convenience and savings, without locking mums into a long-term commitment, you’ll receive both gratitude and money. The best options for this are by coupling voice shopping with a logistics network that can make quick deliveries. Adimo’s add to basket technology allows users to order your product from the retailer of their choice with a simple voice command. With many UK supermarkets offering same-day delivery, you can spare new mothers a time-wasting, energy-sapping trip to the supermarket. By offering convenience and personalized rewards, you’ll demonstrate that you are committed to becoming a long-term part of a mother’s journey.