Being helpful to mums will pay off

Retailers and brands must think carefully about how to be helpful to mothers, according to research seen by Marketing Week.

Lucy Handley

The study, from BabyCentre, reveals that mothers are hungry for technology that will help them to find products quickly and easily and that 50% of them own smartphones.

It might seem obvious that a new mother, or one whose children are toddlers or older, will be searching for the best deals for her family, but the fact that 90% subscribe to daily deals sites serves to emphasise just how much mums shop around.

Speaking to mothers anecdotally, many talked about switching to cheaper shops like Costco, buying and selling baby goods on eBay and searching for discount vouchers every time they shop.

But while the online world makes deals easier to find – and life more competitive for brands – the offline world must still think about how to make things more convenient for mothers.

Separate research by Asda reveals that some mothers find shopping in store without their children almost a great escape – and can be what they think of as ‘me time’. Asda is therefore thinking about how to make the most of this, realising that other areas of the shop, like its George clothing section or its cafe, are being visited more by mothers without their children in tow.

While mothers are hungry for deals, they are also spending more money per shopping trip than average, especially in the convenience sector. Spar’s UK head of marketing and management information Adam Margolin points out that they spend £9.25 per trip compared to the average of £5.50.

Spar is currently looking at how it can bring more relevant baby food products to mothers and is looking to increase its range of organic foods such as Hipp and Organix.

This may be one area of growth but other recent research confirms that people are spending less and staying at home. It shows that people are spending less time shopping and more time watching television, with the number of people watching TV online increasing 96% year on year.

The IPA study also shows that half of all adults are using their laptops while watching TV, which is an opportunity for brands.

Yahoo has tapped into this, with its IntoNow app. It can ‘hear’ what someone is watching on TV by storing jingles from sport or news shows and then provide relevant content on someone’s iPad, whether that be news stories from all over the web, tweets or statistics.

While times may be tough in the recession, there is plenty marketers can be doing to make sure consumers are aware of their brands.

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