Make Moms the Target of Your Mobile Efforts
If you’re a retailer and haven’t implemented some sort of mobile strategy by now, chances are you’re losing out on a lot of business and falling behind your competitors. Mobile isn’t just a buzzword being thrown around. The majority of Americans now own a smartphone or tablet (and a lot of times both), and spend significant time consuming content on these devices. Mobile has quickly become an integral channel throughout the path to purchase, as consumers rely on their devices for information that will directly impact their purchase decisions.
One demographic in particular has realized an incredible growth in mobile shopping habits over the last five years, creating significant opportunity for retailers to reach this group and affect their buying habits – U.S. moms. Since 2011, U.S. moms reporting that they use smartphones to compare prices (64 percent); compare features (60 percent); find coupons (59 percent); decide where to buy (56 percent); get product ideas (55 percent); and get product/brand recommendations (52 percent) has at least doubled across each category, respectively. While those percentages have plateaued from 2014 to 2015, it's evident that U.S. mothers are at peak mobile usage for shopping and the time is now for retailers to reach them.
There are approximately 84.5 million moms with children of all ages living in the U.S., with an annual buying power of an estimated $2.1 trillion. It’s been reported that women account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases, from cars to health insurance, including PCs (66 percent); new cars (65 percent); food (93 percent); and over-the-counter drugs (93 percent). They're also responsible for 58 percent of total online spending.
We already know moms are shopping for food, clothing, toys, school supplies and household items, but their purchasing range extends well beyond items traditionally thought of as female-focused. However, just because moms are buying doesn’t mean they always have positive experiences with retailers. In fact, 46 percent of moms feel marketing is too pressured and creates unrealistic ideals, while 32 percent feel marketing to mothers is patronizing. An even larger group — 58 percent — feels that marketers act as if motherhood is an activity filled with things that moms have to do, including shopping.
Moms are buying, and they’re using mobile to help them make their purchasing decisions, but they’re still sensitive to how they're marketed to by brands. So how can retailers take advantage of this burgeoning consumer group without alienating themselves? Consider these tips:
1. Target behavior using mobile data. Moms are always on the go, so they use their mobile phone as their primary device. This presents an incredible opportunity to target moms by analyzing their mobile behaviors. By understanding moms’ behaviors — i.e., when and where they shop — you can effectively target new moms at the right place and the right time because you already know their preferences and habits. For example, if a mom typically shops for groceries on Saturdays, advertisers will want to reach her via mobile on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning before she makes her decision on which grocer to go to (which we already know based on her past location history).
2. Target moms in-store. New moms are bombarded with new products for their babies. They don’t always know what works best or which products are ideal for their new little one. Speaking to moms while they're in-store with video content on mobile is key in driving CPG sales in either the juvenile category or even food/beverage. Targeting moms while they're in Babies“R”Us, or even in the grocery store, can be an extremely powerful way to get moms to try new products or purchase a product they wouldn't have otherwise. For example, target moms heading down the baby aisle at the grocery store with a mobile video ad and coupon.
3. Target multicultural audiences. Today, three out of four new moms are millennial, and approximately 50 percent of all new babies born in the United States are multicultural. There will be a massive increase in the multicultural population over the next 10 years. The multicultural audience relies on mobile as their primary shopping and research device, so unlocking this segment of the population yields higher return on investment on your campaigns. Targeting multicultural audiences when they're in proximity of specific stores or locations is a great strategy to judge impact of these demographics for your brand.
Adam Meshekow is executive vice president, strategy and national sales for SITO Mobile, a mobile engagement platform provider.