THE PURCHASE JOURNEY OF TODAY’S NEW PARENTS

Maddie Cullen
30 August 2018

Brands that target new parents have a unique challenge. Becoming a parent is a big, sudden change – with the majority of people changing what brands they buy to cater to their baby. So there’s an opportunity to grab these new customers.

But their loyalty will always be limited. Eventually children get too old and outgrow a lot of products, which means these brands need to start the aqusition process all over again. This is happening all the time, so brands need to be on their toes and acutely aware of their target audience.

One crucial thing to know is what it takes to get them to buy and that starts with looking at their purchase journey.

Who

So who are they first of all? 53% of births last year were to mothers aged 30 and over and 68% of new fathers are 30 or over.

A post shared by kendra smoot (@kendrasmoot) on


People are having kids older than they used to and in a new economic climate. Price is now a big factor, but as all doting parents, these new ones still care about quality.

Influence

And with technology, they’re becoming parents in a new and very different world. A place where influence can really come from anywhere.

Online resources count for 71% of influence on parents. It’s their first point of call in a lot of ways, in fact 97% of mums and 93% of dads find social media extremely helpful to their parenting. They’re likely to seek advice, guidance and information there just as much as they’re catching up with friends and cute videos of puppies.

It’s not just advice on how to deal with the new life in their life, but what to buy for it. When buying baby products, 56% of consumers are influenced by social media, which is significantly higher than other sectors like home furnishings and vehicles.

And it goes beyond just the classic sites like Facebook and Twitter. 86% of dads turn to YouTube for parenting info and advice. Mumfluencers may dominate the headlines, but it’s both sets of parents that look to online families for advice and entertainment.

Devices

And where are they consuming all this info? Mobile. Parents are 2.7x more likely to have a smartphone as their primary device than non-parents. They’re quicker and easier to use in the limited down time and easily available, always safe in a back pocket or bag.

mobile use of new parents

And mobile is where parent planning goes on too. 56% of maternity searches were on mobile, so parents start making that shift early on.

As they move away from bigger devices and towards easier solutions, it’s essential that brands build themselves for mobile.

Other considerations

What other thoughts are new parents having when they shop for their little ones?

Mothers are acutely aware of the ingredients in food and personal care. They’re reading labels and educated on what each ingredient means, something we explored in our previous post on targeting mums.

homemade baby food              (Image: Brooklyn Farm Girl)

So brands need to be considerate with what’s in their products, not just what it is. In fact, packaged baby food sales are down 30% as parents seek transparency and opt for homemade food so as to be 100% sure of what they’re feeding their baby.

With the rise in social media, parents feel more pressure to be ‘perfect’ than ever. Brands that are honest and paint the realities of parenthood are more likely to win over parents than those that make them feel guilty or less than others.

Purchase journey

Now we know all that, we can look at how they actually traverse the road to purchase.

Unsurprisingly, baby food and toys are some of the most researched purchases. Consumers want what’s best for their child, but as new parents have few experiences to draw on.

baby toys purchase journey

But gone are the days of simply walking into Mothercare and browsing the shelves. Today’s parents will visit between 8.2 and 11.1 touchpoints on average before actually purchasing a product.

As with many product categories, the journey itself is a complex and fluid one, with various on and offline influences playing a part. So marketers must be adept at understanding the latest attribution modelling techniques, and working with expert partners to track and learn from them.

Loyalty

So they’re at the final stage – buying. They know the brand and they know the product. But what keeps them loyal?

Luckily, this generation of parents are the most brand loyal of any yet, they just need to be impressed first.

And once these new parents trust a brand 83% will go for it every time when buying baby food.

pride parade social and political views               (Image: Vancourier)

But getting their attention first is still incredibly important and priorities are not the same as they once were. 55% of parents will only shop brands that reflect their personal social and political views.

So the journey is not what it once was. With the internet, parents have the opportunity to extend the journey with research taking centre stage. From social media to the ingredient list, parents are making considered purchases, finding out as much as they can before making the leap to buy.

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