US Mothers' Digital Usage: What Matters More, What Matters Less - eMarketer
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US Mothers' Digital Usage: What Matters More, What Matters Less

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: July 25, 2017

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

It’s clear that different aspects of digital loom larger than others in mothers’ daily routines—and that different sorts of mothers vary in their usage, even if most are “digital moms” in one way or another. Marketers need to look at how various devices and activities really fit into mothers’ lives as digital usage evolves.

  • More than 95% of all US mothers are internet users, spending about three and a half hours per day on it. For many, it is their chief source of entertainment and the first place they go for information. Streaming video has a big audience among mothers, and internet of things (IoT) technology has begun to gain a following.
  • Roughly nine in 10 mothers are smartphone users. It is now the main device through which many mothers go online—and their lifeline to the world beyond motherhood. It has also become the main device through which they access social media.
  • Nearly 90% of US mothers are social network users. Among them, nine in 10 use Facebook. But mothers have also branched out beyond the early triumvirate of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, with many now using Instagram and Snapchat. Social is especially important to new parents as a source of information and advice, and as a venue for keeping extended family in the loop. But it is also a venue whose images of perfect families leave some mothers feeling inadequate by comparison.
  • The convenience of digital shopping has strong appeal for mothers, as do its opportunities for grabbing bargains. More than women in general, many mothers prefer buying online to buying in-store. Even when going to stores, mothers research first via digital. Smartphones are central to mothers’ bargain hunting. Online reviews and social media recommendations influence some mothers’ purchase decisions, but many mothers are indifferent to such advice—as many also are to advertising.

"In a remarkably short period of time, US mothers have swung the bulk of their internet usage from computers to smartphones—an indication of how their digital activity is very much in flux."

Table of Contents

Highly Digital, but Not Unvaryingly Digital

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Basics of Mothers’ Internet Usage

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Mothers and Smartphones

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Mothers and Social Media

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The Digital Aspect of Mothers’ Shopping

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Related eMarketer Report

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26 charts are included in the full report:

US Mothers’ Digital Usage: What Matters More, What Matters Less

Primary Device Used by US Mothers to Access the Internet, 2015-2017 (% of respondents)

Basics of Mothers’ Internet Usage

Daily Time Spent with Select Media Among US Mothers, Jan 2017 (hrs:mins)

US Mothers vs. Total Female Consumers Who Feel a Need to Disconnect/Take a Break from the Internet, by Marital Status, Nov 2016 (% of mothers in each group and % of total female population)

Reasons for Purchasing an Internet of Things (IoT) Device According to US Mother vs. Father Internet Users, Dec 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

Internet as Go-To Information Source

Ways in Which US New Parent Internet Users Research Information Related to Becoming a Parent, Feb 2017 (% of respondents)

US Mother Blog Readers, 2015-2020

Using Digital Video, Without Abandoning TV

Leading Reasons that US Mother YouTube Viewers Watch YouTube Videos, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

Weekly Time Spent with Select Media/Devices Among US Mother TV Viewers, by Demographic, Q3 2016 (hrs:mins)

Mothers and Smartphones

Primary Device Used by US Mothers to Access the Internet, 2015-2017 (% of respondents)

US Mothers Who Agree that Their Mobile Phone Connects Them to Their Social World, by Income, Nov 2016 (% of mothers in each group)

Daily Time Spent with Select Devices/Media Among US Parent Internet Users, by Age, Dec 2016 (hours)

Mothers and Social Media

US Mother Social Media User Penetration, 2017-2021 (% of total mothers)

Frequency with Which US Mother Internet Users Are Active on Social Media, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)

Weekly Time Spent with Social Media and Devices Among US Mothers, by Demographic, Q3 2016 (hrs:mins)

US Mother Facebook User Penetration, 2017-2021 (% of mother social network users)

Social Media Platform Most Frequently Used by US Millennial Mother Internet Users, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

US Mothers Who Often Post/Comment on Social Media Platforms, by Age of Child, Nov 2016 (% of mothers in each group)

US New Parent Internet Users' Primary Attitude Toward Advice from Select Sources, Feb 2017 (% of respondents)

The Digital Aspect of Mothers’ Shopping

Digital Share of Children's Toy Purchases Made by US Parent Internet Users, Dec 2016 (% of respondents)

US Millennial Mother Internet Users Who Prefer to Research/Purchase Products In-Store vs. Digitally, Sep 2016 (% of respondents)

Ways in Which US Parent Smartphone Owners Plan to Use a Smartphone When Back-to-School Shopping, July 2016 (% of respondents)

Shaping Mothers’ Purchase Decisions, or Not

Frequency with Which US Mother Internet Users Recommend Their Favorite Brands to Friends/Family, Aug 2016 (% of respondents)

US Mothers vs. Total Female Consumers Who Are More Likely to Purchase Products that Are Used/Recommended by Friends on Social Media, by Marital Status, Nov 2016 (% of mothers in each group and % of total female population)

Reasons that US Mother Internet Users Try New Brands of Baby/Child Products, April 2017 (% of respondents)

Extent to Which Their Children Influence Back-to-School Purchases According to US Mother Mobile Device Users, by Product Category, May 2017 (% of respondents)