BabyCenter Reveals Seven Rituals That Demonstrate the Shopping Behaviors, Economic Influence, and Marketing Implications of the 21st Century Mom®

In a joint study with comScore, data shows moms make purchase decisions across all categories and outspend general Internet population both online and offline

Nov 03, 2011, 10:24 ET from BabyCenter, LLC

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BabyCenter, LLC, the #1 pregnancy and parenting mobile and web destination worldwide, today released its 2011 Shopping Rituals of the American Mom report, the latest installment of the BabyCenter 21st Century Mom® Insights Series. The joint BabyCenter/comScore research, conducted among 9,000 moms and other online adults details the dramatic spending influence of moms as compared to the general Internet population (gen pop) and the seven rituals she employs to serve her unique and forever-changed shopping needs.

According to the study, moms spend more online in many major categories compared to gen pop. They spend twice as much on video games (203 index) and hardware & software (196 index). In addition, they spend more online on office supplies (182 index) and apparel (168 index).

A Shopping Superhero is Born
"Motherhood triggers immense change and moms are using digital tools and services to shop. 86% of moms use social media regularly and 40% of moms have shopped via a mobile browser in the past 30 days," said Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President of BabyCenter, LLC. "Mom has become the leading indicator for the future of shopping. She is charting a new path to the register."

Before becoming a mom, women described shopping as relaxed, impulsive, and social. After becoming a mom, women find shopping far more rushed (258 index), stressful (188 index), and overwhelming (167 index) than gen pop.

She's a Purchase Planner & Big Spender
According to the survey data, three in four women say that their purchasing criteria across multiple categories changed when they became a mom. Moms also anticipates major future purchases in categories beyond nursery items: moms are 47% more likely to make a financial services purchase in the next 12 months, 25% more likely to purchase airfare or hotels, and 22% more likely to purchase a car than gen pop. They also intend to spend more. For instance, moms anticipate spending $7,410 on financial services products vs. $1,710 for gen pop over the upcoming year.

"We were surprised at the enormous spending power that moms exert both online and offline compared to the general Internet population," said Jenni Tafoya, comScore Vice President for Media. "We have seen Mom's reliance on the Internet and mobile media grow tremendously over the past few years. This study now quantifies that impact on Mom's purchasing activity."

Seven Shopping Rituals Reveal the Unique Behaviors of the 21st Century Mom

1. Mom Shops Around
Mom knows options are only a click away. Her path to purchase has evolved and she's using a variety of tools and services to get the job done. She leverages social, mobile and digital while in the aisle. Three-quarters of moms shopped online in the past 30 days, and half would do all of their shopping online. Web and social are her recommendation engines: 53% of moms use expert parent sites to get product recommendations and 48% use retailer websites.

2.  Mom Shops for Sport
Mom has a passion for saving. 84% agree with the statement: "When I save money on a shopping trip by using coupons, sales or other deals, I feel like I won." She promotes savings to build social currency as she seeks discounts and deals before buying items big or small. 60% of moms subscribe to one or more group buying services. 62% of moms (130 index) have a barcode scanner app on their mobile device to help them hunt for deals. In fact, moms are willing to use QR codes to save money on even low ticket items: 71% would scan a barcode to save under $5, compared to only 49% of the general population.   

3. Mom Reads the Labels
Mom feels responsible for the wellness of her entire family and is sensitive to the opinions of her peers. She's willing to make trade-offs based on price, effort, and availability; but she won't skimp on safety. More than half prefer purchasing organic or natural alternatives when shopping for groceries (162 index). Reflecting the power of offline social perception, 67% of moms say that potato chips would be met with unspoken disapproval if they were buying snacks for their child's class or team. Yet, environmental choices are not made only in the food aisle. Women are twice as likely to consider purchasing a hybrid vehicle after becoming a mom.  

4. Mom Demands Convenience
Despite the pressure to save in today's economic environment, mom will still reward brands that simplify her life and will pay more for convenience. A full 38% are willing to pay for online shipping to save time and effort. Utility has become mom's 'luxury', as 35% agree simplicity, multiuse and convenience are the biggest priorities in the technologies she buys. 41% of moms say that cupholders are most important to them when buying a new car versus only 36% who said resale value.

5. Mom Enlists New Support
The 21st Century Mom puts pixels, platforms, and partners to work during the entire purchase process. She relies on others for shopping support and is quick to embrace new services that enable her to get the job done faster and smarter. She crowd-sources for research, and over-indexes compared to gen pop in posting online reviews (62% vs. 50%) and sharing deals and discount codes (44% vs. 35%) with her social graph. She is also highly social during the consideration phase. She leverages mobile to get feedback from friends and family: 34% texted a picture of a product before purchasing, compared to only 10% of gen pop. Fathers are also taking on a bigger part of the purchasing role across key categories including groceries and apparel. 26% of moms say that their partner has shared or primary responsibility for purchasing groceries.

6. Mom Expects More From Retail
Mom wants stores that cater to her lifestage. 51% want changing tables in the restrooms (425 index). She needs support throughout the shopping process and requires retailers to provide that in-store. 49% of moms (vs. 32% of gen pop) think it's important to have seamless interchanges (the ability to buy online and return in-store, for instance) between an e-commerce and physical retail experience. Finally, one in three moms have shown up when it's still dark out to take advantage of time-based retail events such as Black Friday (150 index).

7. Mom Puts The Calendar to Work
Motherhood triggers shopping events and instigates changes in brand preference and purchase criteria. 34% of women changed financial services brands after becoming a mom. Stage or calendar events come at regular intervals. comScore's passively measured e-commerce data demonstrates that moms with kids under age one are almost three times as likely to make an online apparel purchase (273 index) compared to the general online population.

The findings in BabyCenter's 2011 Shopping Rituals of the American Mom report are the result of in-depth surveys conducted among over 8,000 online moms visiting the BabyCenter US site in Summer 2011. BabyCenter partnered with comScore on survey research as well as online purchasing behavioral data that highlights the dramatic differences in the way moms shop compared with other online adults. A general population survey was conducted with 1,000 Internet representative adults from the comScore panel. In addition, comScore conducted a behavioral analysis by analyzing online purchases across categories among their one million opt-in panelists. Through this passive behavioral analysis, we uncovered key differences in purchasing by category among moms with children at different ages compared to the general Internet population.

By using BabyCenter's proprietary TalkTracker™ tool in the BabyCenter community, we measured trends in aggregate around specific purchase categories, and are able to analyze those trends by mom's particular stage. In addition, we engaged in a series of guided online discussions within the same community. Finally, we incorporated 3rd party statistics from comScore, 'Mom 3.0' by Maria Bailey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information on the 2011 Shopping Rituals of the American Mom report please visit,   

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics. For more information, please visit

About BabyCenter® BabyCenter® is the web's #1 global interactive parenting brand, reaching 78 percent of new and expecting moms online in the United States and 25 million parents monthly across 22 markets worldwide. BabyCenter, LLC, operates, the largest online resource for expectant and new parents around the world, and has nurtured more than 240 million parents since its launch in 1997. BabyCenter® is available on the Internet in eight languages and has mobile applications available in English and Spanish. BabyCenter, LLC, is based in San Francisco, California, and is a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

SOURCE BabyCenter, LLC