The Word of Mum – can you hear it?
Mums have a hell of a lot resting on their plate. Not only do they have to give birth to their offspring and nurture them to full health and wisdom, they have endless purchase decisions to make on their baby’s behalf (as it happens, newborns aren’t so keen to go out and pick out their own bouncing chair). Ipsos MORI conducted a study in partnership with Bounty amongst 1,023 new and expectant mothers to gain an insight into which retailers they frequent, what they buy and how their decisions come about.
Where do they go? Rather than boldly stepping foot into new retailers unfamiliar to them, our survey shows that mums are more likely to up the visits of a retailer they already know. Boots seems to have earned a trophy status among new mothers, with over 3 in 10 using the retailer more since starting a family. Often too busy being swept off their feet, 1 in 4 mums are resorting to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay much more than imagined, demonstrating the growing prominence and power of online retail thanks to the flexibility it offers to consumers. Non first-time mums, and those not working, tend to be more cash-savvy by using budget retailers such as Poundland and Iceland to bag their baby a bargain.
What do they buy? When asked which items they have purchased in the past 3 months or are likely to buy in the next month, many responded with small, low-investment items such as toys and baby clothing/shoes. A significant proportion are considering holidays and day trips for the family, but then again, who isn’t thinking about escaping to a paradise island amidst the bleak British winter? Predictably, expectant mothers are also considering long-term investments such as prams and cots, which is especially prevalent among mums in full-time work with more money to burn.
How do they decide on the items they buy? Unsurprisingly, more long-term items such as baby furniture and technology require longer periods of decision-making through multiple rounds of collective deliberation. Our data shows that mums take the longest in deciding which pram/pushchair to buy, with a quarter spending more than a month on the decision. This compares closely with deciding on their choice of car, although I can’t quite imagine turning up to Mothercare and asking “how big is the horsepower on this pram?” Mums also seem to be more immersed in the world of adult technology than childcare technology products, as they’re spending slightly more time deciding which tablet PC or mobile phone to buy than baby monitors. Adults need their toys too, haven’t you heard?
Regardless of how long they spend on the decision, the majority of mums are happy with their final choice. This can be explained by the evidence that many mums consult other sources of information before parting with their cash on high-investment items such as cars and furniture. Their partner is the most popular point of consultation, followed by online reviews, and a smaller minority trusting the opinions of their friends and family.
As we can see, mums do have a lot of decisions to make: some difficult, some deliberated, some considered and some less so. The Ipsos/Bounty Word of Mum panel brings together a consumer panel of over 30,000 new and expectant mums in the UK with the world-leading market research experts at Ipsos MORI, which puts us in a great position to be able to point you in the right direction.