Make Way for the Digital, Deal-Seeking Millennial Mother - eMarketer

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Make Way for the Digital, Deal-Seeking Millennial Mother

Over eight in 10 millennial mothers use smartphones while shopping in-store

March 23, 2015

eMarketer estimates that this year, 34.0 million mothers in the US will use the internet, representing nearly 95% of adult females with children under 18 years old in their household and 13.1% of internet users. Based on recent research, millennial mothers in this group are growing increasingly comfortable with online shopping. According to December 2014 polling by BabyCenter and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the majority of US millennial mother internet users did more than one-quarter of their shopping online, and over four in 10 respondents in that group conducted more than half of their shopping digitally.

Product Categories that US Millennial Mother Internet Users Are More Likely to Purchase Digitally Since Becoming a Mother, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)

Entering motherhood reshapes shopping habits among this group, too. Respondents reported increasing digital purchases across various categories since becoming a mother, with two very different categories—apparel and electronics—leading the way. One in three were also more likely to purchase financial services products digitally after entering motherhood. Mothers didn’t completely change though; for example, grocery shopping remained an in-store activity for the most part, likely due to the fact that mothers want to check out what they’re feeding their precious ones in person.

When they do head to the store, millennial mothers still shop digitally—via mobile. According to the study, 81% of smartphone-toting millennial mothers researched or purchased items via on their phones while shopping in-store.

Despite all of this digital activity, brick-and-mortar remains the most common location for purchases among this group. In a May 2014 study by Ipsos, two-thirds of US millennial mothers said they purchased in-store, vs. 31% who bought on a computer, 21% on a smartphone and 18% on a tablet. Though the physical store also had the biggest influence on the inspiration stage (51% of respondents)—the first step on the path to purchase—digital devices were used more frequently here. Over four in 10 millennial mothers used a computer for inspiration, nearly one-third used smartphones, and just under a quarter used tablets.

Digital usage was highest during the research process, with half of respondents using computers—more than the 48% who conducted research in-store. Over a third turned to smartphones, and one-quarter looked to tablets.

Types of Digital Ads that Are Most Likely to Get Their Attention According to US Millennial Mother Internet Users, Dec 2014 (% of respondents)

Digital’s key role in the purchase path provides advertisers with a large opportunity to target millennial mothers across devices, and they’d be wise to keep this group’s reputation as notorious deal seekers in mind. When BabyCenter and IAB asked millennial mothers which digital ads were most likely to get their attention, placements featuring deals, sales or other money-saving offers were the most popular. Relevancy was also key, and further responses indicated that millennial mothers also enjoyed ads that gave them a good laugh.

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