Benchmark research indicates a slow yet steady recovery from the economic downturn, during which consumers have transitioned to more thrifty shopping strategies, such as comparing prices online, searching for coupons and gravitating to discount e-Commerce sites.
Mothers in particular have altered the way they browse and buy. In fact, new research from flash sale site TOTSY revealed that 79% of moms adopted new shopping techniques during the recession, and will continue to use them. Among these strategies, moms most favor digital and print coupons as well as daily deal and flash sale sites.
To provide detailed insight into the psychology of today’s deal-savvy, technologically empowered moms, TOTSY has launched it second annual “Moms Shopping Trends” report. Conducted in partnership with BSM Media, which specializes in marketing to moms, study results were gathered in a survey of 1,978 moms from March 16-30, 2012. Questions focused on the impact of the recovering economy, the emotions behind specific purchase decisions, and online buying behaviors, among other topics.
“Quality, lowest price and convenience are the most important factors in decision-making for purchases,” according to the study. “Moms are the least concerned with customer service and brand name, whereas brand name was voted more significant last year.”
Mothers make a majority of purchase decisions and do most of the shopping for their households, and in turn, are implementing more savvy cross-channel research tactics. More than half (54%) of moms indicated that they perform more research online before completing a purchase. Daily deal and flash sale sites also are coming more to the forefront: 75% of moms revealed that they sometimes use these online storefronts, while 14% said they always check them for the best buys.
“It’s always exciting to customize research and provide answers based on the concerns and trends happening now in the marketing space,” said Maria Bailey, CEO of BSM Media. “To me, it’s also very interesting to watch the behaviors of moms and see how outside factors, such as the economy, change what they do, and how. Looking at last year’s study versus this year’s results, the economy and social media keep changing the way [moms] buy products and how [they] make decisions. Overall, moms want to be more rational in their purchase decisions.”
Among the most popular online sale sites, moms gravitated most to Groupon (75%), TOTSY (46%) and Zulily (41%). While browsing on these sites, respondents indicated that they purchased clothing (78%), household items (59%), and entertainment (56%).
“Although there has been a sense of calm in the economy, moms still appreciate saving money, even if they have more disposable income,” Bailey said. “These consumers still appreciate finding great brands at low prices, and want to be the financial heroes in the household. Moms are especially excited about applying savings to their children’s purchases.”
The promise of high-quality goods at low prices has encouraged mothers to buy more from daily deal and flash sale sites, and focus less on standard retail. Sixty-five percent (65%) of respondents reported that they purchased up to 10 items through private sale sites during 2011, while 18% purchased between 11 and 20 items within the same period of time.
Word-Of-Mouth Reigns Supreme In Mom Marketing Mix
The growing influence of social networking sites has allowed moms to receive more in-depth reviews and insights on specific brands and products. However, 40% of moms claimed traditional word-of-mouth, such as talking with friends and family, affects purchase decisions the most, followed by TV advertising, which garnered 26% of responses.
“It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that word-of-mouth continues to have a strong impact on what moms buy and where they purchase,” Bailey said. “Gen X and Gen Y moms, however, were most affected by social media.”
While only 7% of mothers listed social media as their primary go-to source for trusted information, 69% of respondents indicated that social media has somewhat to drastically changed the way they shop. Product reviews made the most impact (51%), while others relied on the online opinions of social graphs (21%) and expert/tastemaker blogs (18%).
“Moms enjoy ‘Liking’ brands,” Bailey reported. “In fact, the average mom ‘Likes’ three brands a month on Facebook in an effort to find discounts and good deals, which goes back to the appeal of [flash sale sites like] TOTSY; they’re looking for exclusive, good-quality deals that create strong relationships with a brand.”