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Mothers Adopt Digital Discounts, but Still Clip Coupons

Mothers use their smartphones as money-saving devices

March 19, 2014

Mothers are active seekers of coupons and other money-saving offers. In an era when technology puts guidance from fellow mothers at her fingertips, a mother will often be indifferent to the boasts of a brand or store. But she does welcome—and seek—marketers’ offers of money-saving deals, according to a new eMarketer report, “Mothers as Bargain Hunters: Using Old and New Means to Get the Most for Their Money.”

Couponing is certainly the norm among mothers. In December 2013 polling, over seven in 10 mothers said they used “coupons I have clipped” when at the grocery store, and more than one-third used the store’s printed flier/coupon book.

Shopping Aids US Mother and Nonmother Smartphone Users Have Used While Grocery Shopping In-Store, Dec 2013 (% of respondents)

Mothers use multiple channels to access coupons. When a December 2013 study by Womensforum asked mothers where they found coupons for food and drinks they bought at the supermarket, the majority cited newspapers/magazines (77.8%), circulars from local stores (65.4%) and ads online, including on blogs (55.1%). A sizeable minority pointed to “food or frugal-focused website/bloggers that share coupons” (37.8%).

Mothers who worry about the cost of a smartphone can take solace in knowing the device saves them money as shoppers. Many use it to access coupons, compare prices and compose shopping lists that immunize them from pricey impulse purchases.

When a BabyCenter survey conducted in July and August 2013 asked smartphone-using mothers about how they used the device, 72% agreed at least somewhat with the statement, “I’m always on the lookout for great deals.”

A deal conveyed via smartphone can be a call to action for many mothers. In a Harris Interactive survey for Placecast among mobile phone-owning parents in May 2013, 46% of the mothers said they had taken action because of a promotion or coupon received in that way.

Mothers’ interaction with brands via social media has a distinctly mercenary character. They are not averse to connecting with brands in that environment, but a marketer must make it worth their while.

In a March 2013 BabyCenter survey among mothers and soon-to-be mothers who used social networks, nearly eight in 10 cited coupons and discounts as reasons why they “liked” or followed a brand. In the same survey, about six in 10 said they made a purchase because a brand had posted a coupon or other offer to a social site.

The full report, “Mothers as Bargain Hunters: Using Old and New Means to Get the Most for Their Money,” also answers these key questions:

  • How do demographic trends affect the mindset of US mothers as shoppers?
  • When would they rather save time than money?
  • What role do coupons have?
  • How does engaging with marketers on social networks help mothers economize?
  • How do mothers in the US use their smartphones as money-saving devices?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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