The day my daughter was born was the best day of my life, but the hardest days of my life followed shortly thereafter. Sleep was scarce, so I spent an endless amount time scrolling through my news feeds and browsing for the latest baby items. Leaving the house with a child often felt like an insurmountable task so I relied on Instacart to deliver the life sustaining food we needed. Date nights meant strapping a baby to my chest and browsing the hot foods section at Whole Foods. Time passed quickly and we fell back into our comfortable routine, however one thing has forever changed—the way I shopped before I had a child is fundamentally different from the way I shop now.
Roughly 1/3 (or 85 million) of American women aged 18-64 are mothers. That’s a big group with a lot of purchasing power. For the first time since the recession began in 2007, the nation’s birth and fertility rates—number of children each woman is likely to have—is up. (Check out the trendline from the WSJ here). And considering the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is just over $304,000 (adjusted for inflation), this presents new opportunities for brands.
In order to maximize revenue, you have to really understand your buyers. Today, 85% of consumer household purchases are made by women. Heck, even half of all purchases for men’s items (clothing, personal care, and more) are made by women! If moms are a core segment of buyers that you’re targeting, there are a few ways you can improve their shopping experience while increasing your chances of turning them into a loyal customer.
1. Reach them exactly where they shop
Mothers are savvy shoppers. They are constantly on the go, using their smartphones to help them find what they’re looking for, compare prices, read reviews, and more. And they are more social than ever, with 81% of mothers using Facebook, 40% Pinterest, and 30% Instagram. Brands who want to capture more dollars need to be active on these channels. Facebook and Instagram in particular have really advanced targeting capabilities that can drive new traffic and conversely, bring site visitors to complete a purchase. And don’t forget grandma! Seventy percent of baby boomers have a Facebook page, 40% of which actively engage with the channel.
There are also new ways to target these individuals outside of social channels through Google’s Customer Match solution. You can take your database and create a custom segment for moms and target them with relevant content across Search, Gmail and YouTube. You can take this a step further by grouping them into other meaningful categories for your business such as date of last purchase, category of last purchase, and more.
2. Buy online, pick up at curb
Forget buy online, pick up in a store, deliver it curbside. Moms often have a back seat full of hungry, sleeping, or just plain unruly kids to manage. Loading them in and out of a car isn’t always an option. Bring the goods to them. Dedicate a parking spot—or two—for moms (and dads!) who make a purchase online and have a store employee deliver the goods to their car. Walmart recently started doing this and we hope other retailers follow suit.
3. Use location-based targeting
I can’t tell you how many of my mom friends have reached out to me looking for a last minute item—dress shoes in size 5 for an upcoming party, cute pajamas for PJ day at daycare—the list is seemingly endless. Sometimes two-day shipping options just aren’t enough. Make it easy for the individuals you’re targeting to find what they’re looking for in nearby stores by using Local Inventory Ads, location extensions on text ads and more.
4. Show off positive reviews
According to a study by the IAB, 60% of moms say that good product reviews are an important part of their decision making process when buying everyday products. Use ad extensions to highlight positive reviews in your text and product ads to increase your chances of earning their click.
5. Invest in an app
Moms are multitaskers by nature, so anything that makes it easy for them to browse for new inventory, check prices, read reviews, and make a quick purchase is a win for both moms and brands. Over half of mothers use retailer apps (compared with just 1/3 of the general population), and app users are more engaged than any other audience. Amazon.com found that mobile app users visit their app 4.9 days per month, compared with 3.3 days for mobile site visitors. If moms are a responsible for a large segment of your revenue, it may be worth investing in an app. You can use search ads, emails and even space on your mobile site to encourage app downloads, and consider adding promotions that are only available to app users.
There are so many ways that you can engage with mothers and other segments of high value buyers. What it really comes down to is how can I make her/his life easier? When you have the answer to that question, the sales will follow.