Marketing to Moms BSM Media
Latest News and Trends in the Mom Market by BSM Media and Maria Bailey

Monday, May 9, 2011

Shopping Trends: A Fresh Look

Retailers are always looking for the answers to what drives Moms to purchase one product over another, what makes Moms loyal to a brand and, ultimately, what makes moms decide what to put in their shopping cart, either the one with four wheels or the one on the computer screen.

Recently, over 1,900 Moms across the U.S. completed an online survey conducted by and BSM Media, with results offering valuable insight on Mom's shopping habits and trends. Via dozens of survey questions, this is the first in a two-part series that offer a fresh look at the impact of the recession on moms and shopping, and the emotions behind shopping.

It's hard to find anyone not impacted by the current recession. As we optimistically look for the upswing in the economy, the lessons learned from the recent economic climate are lasting ones. The recession's impact on Moms and their shopping habits is reflected with the emergence of the Frugalista Mom, a discerning shopper who clips coupons, shops sales and prices and is proud of the money she saves at the cash register.
  • When a Mom can save her family hundreds of dollars each year for a relatively small amount of time clipping coupons and comparing prices online, it's worth it to her as she becomes the financial hero of the house and feels a sense of pride for helping with the bottom line.
  • Moms continue to spend for special occasions, with winter holidays and birthdays being occasions where they are most likely to splurge.
  • 80% of Moms have adopted new techniques and plan to continue using them, including spending less, using more coupons and purchasing items when they are on sale. Generational differences emerged when Moms were asked to identify these money-saving techniques. To spend less overall, Boomer moms turn to generic products, bulk purchases and traditional in-store tactics compared to Generation X and Y moms, who are most likely to look for deals online using research and social media.
  • Online private sales are emerging as a cost-savings technique with 32% of Moms surveyed using them, with the highest concentration among Generation Y moms.
  • Where have moms reduced spending during the recession? Travel, entertainment and beauty products lead the list as the first items to get cut from the family budget. The majority of Moms admitted that they buy less for themselves and spend less on the items they purchase.
Finally, when asked to rank why one product goes in the cart before another, the majority of moms answered that price was the most important factor, with quality being a close second. Boomer moms focused on the overall value of a product, while younger moms valued a lower price tag.

Retail therapy is real. We've all heard this term that definitely resonates with moms. In the survey, we explored how emotions play a role in mom's shopping habits. Surprisingly, shopping is associated with a high level of stress for moms, though most moms responded that shopping is a mood booster.
  • Moms feel a sense of accomplishment, especially when they get a good deal. To get those deals, 65% of moms surveyed preferred to shop regular retail, but on sale. A total of 88% described their preferred method of shopping as rational-spending -- a little money for a lot of product.
  • Getting that good deal is held in high regard, similar to guiltless chocolate or a special night out with friends or family.
  • Shopping as a mood booster for moms translated to 94% of respondents admitting to buying "feel good" purchases a few times each year.
  • Generation X and Y moms make more "feel good" purchases than Boomer moms. Items that fit this category, ranked in order, are clothing, sweet treats and accessories such as shoes, handbags and jewelry.
  • Even though most moms enjoy shopping, there is a certain level of stress associated with it, particularly when buying bathing suits, jeans and gifts for other people. One of the highest sources of stress? Buying gifts for spouses.
With these numbers in mind, take a look at how your marketing and media strategies align with how moms shop, both online and offline. In my next Engage:Moms post, I'll reveal the second part of the survey results that examine mom's habits in online vs. retail shopping and seasonal/holiday spending.