Buying Journey of Mom Consumers

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Top Publications for Mothers

Three top publications for mothers are Working Mother, Parents, and Pregnancy & Newborn. Details for these publications are below.

Working Mother

  • Working Mother magazine is a top publication for mothers because it has been named the top mom magazine to follow in 2020 by Feedspot and the number eight parenting magazine by Ranker users. It is also named the third-best parenting magazine by FirstSchool.
  • The website for Working Mother can be found here.
  • Working Mother's value proposition is that it offers mothers who have jobs outside of the home a website, magazine, research, social networks, and events to help them balance their home and work life. It is a publication that targets "working moms of all stripes: professional, managerial, corporate, entrepreneurial, work-from-homers, service-oriented workers and more."

Parents

Pregnancy & Newborn

  • Pregnancy & Newborn is a top publication for mothers because it was named the fifth-best parenting magazine by Ranker users and by FirstSchool.
  • The website for Pregnancy & Newborn can be found here.
  • Pregnancy & Newborn's value proposition is that it offers mothers and mothers-to-be free products through partnerships with advertisers. It also covers a wide variety of parenting topics such as baby care, breastfeeding, postpartum, products and gear, baby style, fashion and beauty, nursery, and many more.

Research Strategy

Only one publication appeared on experts' lists for the top publications for mothers, which is Working Mother. Therefore, we expanded our criteria to include parenting publications because we assumed the primary readers of these publications would be mothers or mothers-to-be.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Top Parenting Advice Sources

A mix of magazine readership, industry recognition, social media following, and unique monthly website visitors was used to determine the top sources of parenting advice for mothers in the U.S. Some top sources of parenting advice for mothers include Parents, Baby Center, and Romper.

Parents

Baby Center

Romper

  • Romper is considered millennial mothers' top "digital destination." It boasts of diverse voices that help modern mums navigate parenthood in a real and relatable way. Romper prides itself as a site for a "diverse new generation of mothers figuring out what motherhood means". On its website, Romper offers information on topics such as pregnancy, motherhood, raising children at different ages, sex and relationships, food, health, entertainment, beauty, and fashion.
  • A link to its website can be found here.
  • In January 2020 alone, it received 8.8 million unique visitors to its website. Parents in the U.S. contributed to 70% of these visits. 99.9% of its traffic is considered organic, which points to an actual interest in the information on the site.
  • Romper also boasts of a considerable social media following, with 905 thousand fans on Facebook, 149 thousand followers on Instagram and a whopping 1.2 million monthly visits per month on its Pinterest page.

Research Strategy

To identify the top sources of parenting advice for mothers, we sought out expert-verified rankings of the same. While the search for rankings yielded some results, like this list from Ranker, and this blog list from Feedstop, we were not able to gauge the metrics they used to arrive at the finalists on these lists, and neither was it able to ascertain that the lists were verified by authentic experts in the field. Additionally, some findings contradicted each other. For instance, Feedspot ranked Working Mother as the top parenting website, while Ranker had it at number eight.

Due to this, we opted to use a mix of magazine readership/circulation, industry recognition, social media following, and unique monthly website visitors as an aggregate to better determine which sources were truly popular. Unfortunately, there was also no expert consensus on this approach that was easily identified.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

Buying Decisions Factors

Some factors that influence mothers' buying are the child's direct request, the child's age, the time of the year and the child's passive dictation.

The Child's Direct Request

  • One of the factors that influences a mothers' buying decision is when children ask directly for particular food items such as cereal, snack food, or candy. When this happens, studies have shown that about 75% of the time, the mother complied.
  • In another study, mothers reported they yielded to about half of such direct requests for food.
  • When shopping in a supermarket, it was noted that children managed to succeed in influencing their mothers' purchasing decisions of products such as cereal and candy most of the time.
  • The type of product requested also determined the success of the child's request. Food products, which are the most often requested by children, were most often purchased on request.
  • For other items, such as toys, the price was the decisive element. However, mothers still relied almost 75% of the time on the desires of their children in selecting toys which cost more than five dollars.

The Child's Age

  • Further studies revealed that the child's age is also one of the factors that influence the mothers' buying decision.
  • It has been found that older children make fewer direct attempts to influence their mothers' buying decisions, but are usually more successful if and when they do attempt.
  • Furthermore, mothers are more likely to seek out and consider the opinions of older children about purchases than the younger ones.
  • As age increases, the suggestions of girls begin to revolve around products related to family as well as personal needs, while those of boys remain personally oriented.
  • The differences are usually seen as a result of the mother, with whom most shopping is done, imparting the traditional female role to her daughter.

The Time of The Year

  • Another factor that influences and makes a difference in the mothers' buying decision, is the time of the year.
  • Mothers are considerably more influenced by their children's desires for toys at Christmas time (87%) than in the summer (58%).
  • Mothers look for toys that are new and surprising and they are more likely to purchase on the same day they come up with the idea.
  • The tendency towards impulse buying around Christmas time increases as the child's demand/influence increases.

The Child's Passive Dictation

  • Another factor that influences the mothers' buying decision, is the subtle clues left behind by the child.
  • Mothers are usually vigilant to pick up hints by observing what foods their children eat and do not eat, the clothes they wear and the ones they leave hanging in the closet, as well as the toys and games they like to play with.
  • This is particularly true, especially when the mother has no existing criterion for making a purchasing decision since they rely heavily on their observations to decide which product to buy.

Your Research Applied The Following Strategy

After going through numerous articles published in leading media outlets including but not limited to Forbes, Toys Association, ACR Website, Parents and Family Matters, among others, as well as details of the findings from the Association for Consumer Research, we were able to identify some factors that influence mothers' buying decision.
Part
04
of six
Part
04

Purchasing Apps: Decision Making

Parental control applications are necessary to help mothers keep an eye on their children. Some universal parental control apps include Qustodio, Net Nanny, Kaspersky Safe Kids, Boomerang, and FamilyTime. Statistically, 39% of parents admit having used parental control apps to monitor their children's online activities.

Why Mothers Buy Parental Control Apps (PCA)

  • PCAs help mothers monitor their children continuously, ensuring that they don't get involved with wrong people through calls and messaging. Parental control apps help mothers prevent children from accessing pornographic content and other age-inappropriate websites.
  • PCAs help to keep track of children's location. Using this feature, mothers always know where the children are, which helps in preventing cases of kidnapping, getting lost, and robbery.
  • A parental control application helps mothers manage time for their children as the mother can easily set a time-based schedule for electronic device usage.
  • PCAs assist in social media monitoring and also allow safe search for children. This practice helps in keeping the children's internet experience safe.

The Decision to Purchase PCA

  • A mother's decision to buy a parental control application is inspired by the need for their children to be healthy emotionally, physically, and socially. These factors can be affected by social pressure as a result of children being on the internet carelessly and watching age-inappropriate content.
  • Children have a right to privacy, which influences the mothers' decision to buy a PCA. With a PCA, mothers can monitor the children's activities without having to directly monitor them, which builds trust between them, and children can have some privacy.
  • When children grow, a mother has to make decisions concerning the children's upbringing and the challenges the children face.
  • The price of the PCA, the communication expenses, offensive content, and screen time addiction of the children influence a mother's decision to purchase a parental control application.
  • According to Nicole Johnstone, mothers need an extra pair of eyes to help protect their children from cyberbullying, managing their screen time, and blocking inappropriate content. This influences mothers' decision-making when it comes to purchasing a PCA.

Where to Purchase PCA

  • The majority of parental control applications are purchased in the Google Play Store for Android and the Apple Play Store for iOS.
  • Mothers can also purchase devices that come with in-built parental controls for their kids. For example, the Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon enables parents to set up a profile for their children.
  • Web browsers that have parental controls include Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Mothers can also purchase PCAs from their cable service provider, internet service provider, email service provider, and video game developers. Some WI-FI routers come with inbuilt software that enables the mothers to set up parental controls.

Who Mothers Consult Before Purchasing PCA

  • There is no direct information about who mothers consult before purchasing a PCA. As it is with each customer journey, before making a purchase or downloading an application, users go through review pages and the ratings of a particular application.
  • For this reason, it is logical to assume that mothers also go through the review pages and application ratings of a particular PCA before buying the product. Mothers also seek advice on online platforms and their peers before purchasing a PCA.
  • The time taken for a mother to decide on buying a PCA varies from one mother to another, depending on which PCA they want to buy and the cost.

Research Strategy

Your research team scoured through credible websites and magazines to find the factors that influence mothers to purchase parental control applications (PCA). We were able to find information on why parental control applications are necessary, what influences the decision to buy PCA, and where PCA can be found/purchased. We could not establish a specific duration that a mother takes to decide to buy a parental control application as this is a personal attribute for each person, and factors like availability of money and the prices of the applications play a great deal. We were also not able to find direct data on who mothers consult when purchasing a PCA. Therefore, we gather that mothers may go through the respective application review pages and product ratings to get information about PCA purchases. It is also possible that mothers consult other mothers in their cycles on which PCA product is effective in parental control.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

Mom Consumers: Demographic Profile

Based on survey studies, mothers who use parental controls for their children’s online activities in the US tend to be white, near 40 years of age, married, have some college or a college degree, and are working- or middle-class. More details about these findings are available below.

Studies Used

  • The research team obtained survey studies in order to assume parental control usage among US mothers:
    • The first study (based in Pittsburgh) looked at parenting strategies for children’s online safety. This study found that 58.8% of its parent respondents used software monitoring as a parental control strategy. 89.1% of the respondents in the Pittsburgh study were female.
    • In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 39% of parents surveyed used parental controls for their teen’s online activities; 57.08% of the study participants were mothers (calculation is here).
    • In 2019, the Pew Research Center found that 52% of parents used controls to restrict which sites teens could access; of parents who used parental control apps, 54% were mothers and 51% were fathers which represented a rather even split.

Age

  • The mean age of the parent participants in the Pittsburgh study was 40.8.
  • In the 2016 Pew research study, 510 of the 1060 participants were under 45 years old and 550 were 45 and older, representing an almost even split.
  • In the 2019 Pew research study, demographic analysis showed that 11.8% of parents were 18-24 years old, 17.4% were 25-34, 16.8% were 35-44, 16.2% were 45-54, 17.5% were 55-64, 14% were 65-74, and 6.4% were over 75. Please note this study panel was especially weighted for balance and there were no age-related parental control specifics discussed in the study report.

Marital Status

  • 73.9% of the Pittsburgh study participants were married, 14.1% were divorced, 8.7% were never married, 7.6% were living with a partner, 5.4% were separated, and 1.1% were widowed.

Education

  • 35.9% of the Pittsburgh study respondents had a graduate degree, 29.3% had a bachelor’s degree, 7.6% had an associate’s degree, 19.6% had some college, and 7.6% had a high school degree or its equivalent.
  • 38.4% of the 2016 Pew Research study respondents had a high school education or less, 28.87% had some college, and 32.74% had completed college.

Ethnicity

  • 75% of the Pittsburgh study respondents were white, 20.7% were black, and 1.1% were Asian.
  • 63.4% of the 2016 Pew study were white (calculation); 11.23% were black, and 19.06% were Latino.

Income Level

  • 6.5% of the Pittsburgh study participants made $200,000 or more per year, 7.6% made $150,000-$199,999, 23.9% made $100,000-$149,999, 14.1% made $75,000-$99,999, 18.5% made $50,000-$74,999, 5.4% made $35,000-$49,999, 20.7% made $20,000-$34,999, and 7.6% made less than $20,000.
  • 21.7% of the 2016 Pew Research study participants made less than $30,000 per year, 38.77% made $30,000-$74,999, and 39.53% more than $75,000.

Research Strategy

After attempts to locate a comprehensive and direct US-based demographic analysis on mothers who use parental applications and software programs proved unavailable, the research team first attempted to locate demographics and usage figures based on top software programs. Using this strategy we were able to locate a very localized survey study based on parental control strategies used in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Participants in the study were installing Qustodio (a popular prenatal control app) in a paid, lab-based environment. Because this data was exceptionally local and the demographics reported in the study could be skewed by the city’s culture and atmosphere, the team sought to obtain a more national study of parental behaviors around controls (even though most of the participants were mothers).

While we did find valuable data from the Pew Research Center on parental controls (2016 and 2019), the data was not focused strictly on mothers. However, as was the case with the Pittsburgh study, the majority of the respondents were women, and the team assumed the same rates for the respondent groups could be applied to the mothers in the study.

Additionally, please note that the Pew research and other sources in this report focus on parental control of adolescents/teens rather than all children.

Part
06
of six
Part
06

Mom Consumers: Psychographic Profile

Parents prefer basic, free versions of parental control apps, but would consider paid version for more features. This often happens after they are satisfied with the basic version.

habits


family and work life

  • We decided to substitute the "hobbies" category with "family and work life". While we were unsuccessful in finding the hobbies of mom consumers, we were able to collect details on their work life, which was a popular motivator for using parental control apps.

spending habits


values

Parents believe that:

Research strategy

After an extensive search through press releases, articles, blogs, review site and other. The team could not determine the habits, hobbies, spending habits, and values of mom consumers who use parental control apps. Hence many resources use "parents" to describe the consumer sentiments for parental control apps. We have assumed the sentiments of parent consumers apply to mom consumers as well, details on the hobbies were unavailable and so we have substituted that with family and work life.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "These monitoring solutions enable parents to keep a regular check on their teen’s lifestyle without letting them feel bad. With the help of these apps, teens can stay away from the online hazards and can experience a safe digital journey."
Quotes
  • "You need support or backup for keeping your children’s Internet experiences safe."
Quotes
  • "If you want to keep your kids safe online, you need a parental control solution that monitors all of their devices, including phones and tablets. These apps are the top cross-platform performers in our testing."
Quotes
  • "FamilyTime does everything, allowing you to customize precisely what content your kids should have access to, set time limits, track location, and more. "
Quotes
  • "Zift/Net Nanny, which we consider to be the best parental control app, has excellent web-filtering technology and a modern, intuitive design."
Quotes
  • "It goes without saying that the internet provides plenty of reasons to celebrate. But it also connects kids with content that may not be age-appropriate. "
Quotes
  • "How to use parental controls and other tools to maximise online safety in your home. "
Quotes
  • "If you’re the family manager in the family group, you can choose purchase approval settings for any member of your family. If you're a parent in the family group, you can choose the purchase approval settings for family members whose accounts are managed with Family Link."
Quotes
  • "TV shows, magazines and books, the Internet — kids have access to tons of information. Be aware of what yours watch and read. Don't be afraid to set limits on the amount of time spent in front of the computer or the TV."
Quotes
  • "As your child grows older, you have to make more decisions concerning their upbringing and challenges they face."
Quotes
  • "According to Pew, as of 2016 — the latest date for which they have relevant data on the topic — 61% of parents have checked their child’s online browser history, 48% have looked through their call records or texts, 48% know the child’s email password, 39% have used parental controls to in some way monitor the child’s online activities, and 16% of parents admit to using location-tracking apps like Life360, which allows connected users to immediately see their family members’ locations."