Nationally Representative Survey Reveals Moms' Shopping Habits With Generational Comparisons

Four out of Five Moms Continue to Adopt New Shopping Techniques after the 2008 Recession

May 17, 2012, 16:04 ET from TOTSY

NEW YORK, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TOTSY (, the private sale site dedicated to delivering deals on must-haves for parents, babies and kids, releases results from its second annual Moms' Shopping Trends Report, an independently conducted nationally representative survey unveiling how motherhood shapes purchasing decisions. As four out of five moms continue to adopt new shopping techniques after the 2008 recession, the report breaks down their habits according to beauty, home and furnishings, education and development, media and marketing, travel and shopping while expecting.

Additionally, generational comparisons are made according to these age groups: Generation Y (18 – 25 years old), Generation XY Cusp (26 – 35 years old), Generation X (36 – 45 years old), and Baby Boomers (46 – 55+ years old).


Even though motherhood reduces moms' discretionary time and budget to spend on beauty, approximately a quarter of moms maintain their beauty spend after the conception of their first child. As moms age, spending rises again, with 40% of Baby Boomers reporting reduced spend in comparison to 58% of moms overall. Interest in cosmetic products wanes as moms age, with 44% of Gen Y moms ranking it as the highest priority but 30% for Gen XY Cusp, 27% for Gen X and 21% for Baby Boomers. Moms agreed that hair care and skin care are the beauty products that make them feel the most beautiful.

Home and Furnishings

42% of moms spend more money on home entertainment than any other household item. Even though the least is spent on furniture, 52% indicate it is the most important element in turning a new house into a home. Moms were clear that the area of the house that receives the most spend is the kitchen, with 40% of the vote. When purchasing a home, neighborhood and price were most important, tying at 31%. School district is the most important for Gen X moms, presumably because their children are older and would benefit more from better schools as they advance in levels of study.

Education and Development

Reading and comprehension skills ranked as the highest priority for 57% of moms, with social interactions coming in second at 23%. Despite reported trends towards multilingual education, 42% of moms put that skill as the lowest priority. Baby Boomer moms seemed to think that analytical and problem-solving skills were more important for their children. When asked how much of their discretionary income moms would devote to their child's education if they knew the products or services would be effective, one in five said 21-30% was the right amount and another one in five would spend 50%.

Media and Marketing

40% said word of mouth marketing impacts them most favorably, followed by TV advertising at 26%. Despite other reports to the contrary, our survey found that 7% of moms listed social media as their go-to source for trusted information. 55% of moms want companies to reflect her love for her family when marketing to moms. That was by far the most important facet of her life she wanted to be reflected, followed by her need to stretch the household budget. 69% say social media has somewhat to drastically changed the way they shop, with product reviews impacting them the most with 50% of votes.


58% of moms travel away from home for over 2 days with their kids only 1-2 times per year. 25% of moms said traveling with their kids was very enjoyable, and 56% said it was mostly enjoyable but also stressful. Computers and electronics were the most favored travel helpers, with 45% of moms saying they make travel with tikes easier. Next were favorite toys or video games at 25%. Travel products and books tied for third. 20% are getting computer savvy and buying items online for shipment to the destination.

Shopping While Expecting

When it comes to favored baby shower gifts, moms like to choose for themselves: 33% ranked gift certificates as their favorite, followed by clothes and then by cribs or bassinets. As for most stressful purchases, 35% said car seats and 20% chose crib or bassinet. Family and friends were the most trusted resources for what to buy while expecting, preferred by 74% of moms.  Gen Y moms preferred baby food makers or feeding tools and cribs or bassinets.

Impacts from the Recession

Even though the recession occurred four years ago, 5% said the recessionary period did not impact their shopping habits and never will. In comparison to last year, two changes in purchasing behaviors prove that 80% of moms really are adopting new shopping techniques they will continue to use.  The use of coupons moved to the highest ranked while convenience moved from the least significant to the top three.

"We're excited to continue the annual TOTSY Moms Shopping Trends Report for its second iteration, working again with Maria Bailey," said Guillaume Gauthereau, TOTSY Co-founder and CEO. "As TOTSY continues to expand its reach with over 2 million registered moms, the private sale site remains committed to becoming a trusted resource on moms and their transforming role in shaping and supporting the economy," adds Gauthereau. "This year's survey focused on gathering additional longitudinal data as well as topics we were asked to address by the most widely read media outlets in the US."

"This research proves as an excellent reminder of how important it is to continually communicate with a diverse sampling of moms to both gauge how perceptions and behaviors have changed and determine the best mechanisms in operating amid those changes," said Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media. "Only then can companies market to moms successfully and create an environment that caters to their unique shopping dispositions," adds Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media.

Source: BSM Media surveyed 1930 moms, offering six survey participants a chance to win $50 and two survey participants a chance to win $100 in TOTSY credit.


Headquartered in New York, TOTSY is a privately held company dedicated to providing its members with access to essential products and brands designed for expecting moms, parents, babies and kids at sample sale prices. Shopping events are designer-specific and held over a 72 hour period. Membership is free of charge and by invitation only. For more information, please visit