With 94% of married mums still being the main grocery buyers in their households1 mums hold a large proportion of buying power, making decisions about everything from household items to baby products and even their husband’s clothing. Much research has shown that the purchasing behaviour of parents has inherent links to their child’s purchase behaviour and the brands chosen2. So not only do mums spending habits affect your brand now, they could continue to influence the success of your brand for years to come. With that being said, we take a look at where mums spend time on the internet and just how big is the opportunity for brands to reach them online?
How active are mums on the internet?
82% of mums with young children (aged 5 and under) access the internet more than once a day (2013)3 which is slightly higher than the 76% of people surveyed by the ONS in Great Britain (2014) who were accessing the internet once a day or more4, suggesting that mums are slightly more active online than the average person A study in Germany, found that just over half of mums with children aged 5 and under agree that ‘shopping online makes their lives easier’, rising to 58% among British young mums. The same research shows that mums are over twice as likely as the average adult to select an online delivery service3.
Online mum communities
Part of what makes mums such a powerful audience is because they enthusiastically share information as a community, passing on recommendations by word of mouth. The notion of community passes on huge amounts of credibility and virtual communities like Mumsnet benefit from having evaluative information available alongside recommendations.
A study conducted by The Bump, an online community for expecting and new mothers, reported that 80% of working mothers use message boards or forums, with 75% naming it as one of the top two most valued resources for information on motherhood and parenting, second only to talking to other mothers face-to-face5. Mumsnet has over 1 million members and has been used as a platform by politicians like David Cameron to reach the mum audience, so there’s no denying the power of mum communities. Indeed, the mum audience’s sense of community is no secret and many savvy brands have tried to tap into these communities. One such example is P&Gs Vocalpoint, a platform created by the brand to give mums a place to share product reviews in order to earn rewards. However, consumers are less likely to trust communities set up by brands, as the value in a community is the input of other mums. For this reason, it makes more sense for eCommerce brands to get involved on platforms that are already established for mums and contribute in a useful way that isn’t “salesy”.
Value for mummy
An Australian study recently looked at the behaviours of mum mobile users compared to the average Australian smart phone user of 14+. Although the research is Australian and for mobile, it does highlight some interesting trends in how mums behave online.
The fact that mums are 66% more likely to enter competitions online offers a great opportunity for brands to reach this audience with competitions6. This research aligns with some research by Retail Week and Discovery Research which also suggests that mums focus on price and value leads them to spend time online hunting for offers using websites such as Vouchercodes.co.uk and hunting for deals. Additionally, mums are more likely to share these findings with other friends and family on social media7. Price has been shown to be a big factor with mums who are less loyal to brand and more loyal to deals and value for money7. So it’s understandable that finding competitions and deals online are something which the mum audience will often engage in!
In conclusion, you have to look at this data and put yourself in the shoes of the mum audience. How can your brand help them:
- Relieve stress
- Plan their time and budget
- Offer good perceived value
- Share and gain the opinions of other mums
Thanks for reading
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