79% of Moms Use Smartphones While In Stores

Mobile devices are increasing their role in moms' lives across the board when it comes to shopping, especially with regard to purchasing new products, according to the BabyCenter® U.S. Mobile Mom 2014 Report: Small Screens' Big Influence on Moms' Path to Purchase, the latest installment in BabyCenter's 21st Century Mom® Insights Series. BabyCenter, the number one pregnancy and parenting web and mobile destination worldwide, conducted the study, which reveals a significant uptick (26 percent) in mobile's influence on moms buying new products and testing new brands, rising from 47 percent in 2013 to 59 percent in 2014.

With moms on the go, smartphones in hand, the study finds that a majority (79 percent) use their mobile device specifically for shopping while in-​store. Of those who shop in-​store with their phones, nearly three-​quarters (73 percent) said they used their phone to comparison shop while in a mass retailer, 35 percent in a supermarket or grocery store, and 22 percent in a discount wholesaler.

When asked which types of products they shopped for in the past six months using their mobile phone, moms cited clothing, shoes, and accessories as the top category (54 percent), followed by toys, books, and games for children (43 percent), and food and beverage (38 percent). The latter category, including grocery shopping overall, also was a significant spark for another type of smartphone use by moms – mobile couponing. More than 1 in 3 mobile-​shopping moms (34 percent) said they used their mobile devices for coupons while purchasing groceries.

Coupons also proved to be a key feature in mobile advertising, according to the study's findings. Nearly three-​quarters of moms polled (72 percent) stated that the inclusion of a coupon was the most appealing feature in mobile advertising, marking a 36 percent jump in this opinion compared to 2013, when just 53 percent of moms said that coupons were important in garnering their interest in a mobile ad. Other factors that moms called out include:

  • Knowing that the deal was located at a store nearby (30 percent)
  • The ability to scan a barcode for more information (23 percent)
  • GPS pinpointing to know they are close to a store with the advertised deal (23 percent)
  • How-​to videos showing use of the product (21 percent)

Each also saw an increase in interest year-​over-​year, with the GPS ability receiving the highest jump at 64 percent over last year's 14 percent. The digital video feature was very close behind, showing a 62 percent bounce over 2013 findings at 13 percent.

"These findings prove that marketers and retailers need to be focused on mobile all year round," said Julie Michaelson, Vice President of Sales, BabyCenter. "Moms are becoming more savvy about leveraging their smartphones while shopping, and advertisers need to follow suit. Mobile is no longer a 'good to have' but a 'must have' when it comes to reaching Mom while she's considering what, when, and where to buy."

A significant number of today's moms, 39%, go food shopping once a week. But, 9.5% say they are at the store at least 5 times a week and are therefore great targets for mobile ad campaigns. Similarly, 24% of these ladies are at another type of retail store at least once a week as there's always something to buy for the kids. In the next year, nearly 60% will be buying apparel for their children and 42% will be taking their family to the zoo. AudienceSCAN data confirms that mobile marketing is a good way to reach these busy consumers. At least 26% of moms have taken action in the last 30 days after seeing a mobile smartphone app or text message, a rate that is 34% higher than average.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.