Parent Consumer Journey

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Parent Consumer Journey - Expectant Parents

Expectant parents in the US mostly start the process of shopping for their unborn children in the second trimester of pregnancy. They mostly leverage social media to learn about parenting-related products and services, and they seek the opinion of friends/family in deciding what products/items to purchase. Below are details of the research findings.

WHEN AND HOW EXPECTANT PARENTS RESEARCH FOR PRODUCTS

  • According to a Google 2014 survey, new and expectant parents are 2.7 times more likely to use a smartphone as their primary search device than non-parents.
  • In 2014, parenting videos viewed from mobiles increased by 329%.
  • According to a Facebook study, 28% of newly expecting(those in the first few months of pregnancy) parents who were surveyed in the US are members of an online buying-and-sell group.
  • Also, 32% of mid-to-late (those in the later months of pregnancy) expectant parents are members of an online buy-and-sell group.
  • The study also revealed that 28% of newly expecting parents are members of an online parenting group.
  • For mid-to-late expecting parents, it was found that 38% are members of an online parenting group.

WHEN EXPECTANT PARENTS PURCHASE ITEMS/PRODUCTS FOR THEIR UNBORN CHILDREN

  • According to Babylist, a universal baby registry provider, the average amount spent by a gift giver to purchase gifts for expectant parents is $130.
  • Between 2017 and 2018, the number of baby bottles in the registries of expectant parents increased by 11%, the number of baby monitors increased by 9%, while the number of strollers increased by 8%.
  • Most baby registries are created in the second trimester of pregnancy. Babylist users spend an average of 40 hours building their registries and 52% of what registrants add to their lists end up being deleted.

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE DECISION MAKING OF EXPECTANT PARENTS

  • Fifty-nine per cent of newly expecting parents in the US use Facebook daily.
  • Seventy-one per cent of mid-to-late expectant parents in the US use Facebook daily.
  • Half (50%) of newly-expecting parents in the US are likely to use Facebook to get products/services recommendations from friends/family.
  • Sixty-three per cent of mid-to-late expectant parents in the US are likely to use Facebook to get products/services recommendations from friends/family.
  • For sixty-eight per cent of newly expectant parents in the US, social media helps them learn about parenting-related topics and products.
  • For thirty-seven per cent of newly expectant parents in the US, social media is a preferred source of information on the latest baby-related products and services.
  • Fourty-two per cent of mid-to-late expectant parents prefer social media as a source of information on the latest baby-related products and services.

INDUSTRY REPORTS/SURVEYS ON THE SUBJECT

  • In 2018, a Facebook-IQ-commissioned study was published. The study involved interviews with 10 different sets of expectant and new parents, as well as a survey of 1,620 parents aged 18 years and older.

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS

  • In a 2017 survey, it was found that 36% of expectant parents believed that it will cost them between $1,001 and $5,000 to take care of an average US baby in its first year. 18% thought it would cost $1,000 or less.
  • According to the survey, 50% of expectant parents believed that diapering items, including wipes and diapers constitute the largest expense in the first year of a baby’s life.
  • The most common search themes for pregnant women in the US are health, safety, school, clothes and college.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To fulfill this request, we leveraged various industry reports and surveys from research industry leaders such as Facebook, Pew research, and Nerdwallet. From these, we were able to find information on how and where expectant parents find information on products and services that they purchase. This strategy however failed to provide information on how and when expectant parents search for products/items that they purchase.
Next, we went ahead to look for reviews, feedback and guides from new parents, in an attempt to identify how they found information on the products and services they purchased before they had their children. This however only led us to suggested listings of items that are required for new born babies.
Finally, we went further to expand the scope of our search by including sources that are older than 24 months. We included source that are as old as five years. Doing so, we were able to find a 2014 report from Google that revealed how and when expectant parents research their purchases.


Part
02
of three
Part
02

Parent Consumer Journey - New Parents

New parents are motivated by price, quality, and brand values. Social media and word-to-mouth are the main pathways to brand awareness and they do a lot of research about new products. Below is a deep dive into the customer journey for new parents.

New Parents Today

  • Millennial women accounted for 82% of all U.S. births in 2016. These new moms are more likely to be giving birth at a later age than previous generations as most new parents today are over 30.
  • Today’s mothers are more educated than previous generations and more likely to be part of the working force, while fathers are more likely to be spending more time on childcare than in the past. Mothers are the primary breadwinners in four out of ten U.S. families and 46% of households with a mother and father have both of them working in full-time jobs.
  • Twenty-four percent of mothers today are solo moms and this number is particularly common among Black mothers (56%) compared to Hispanic moms (26%), White mothers (17%), and Asian moms (9%). Only 7% of fathers are solo dads.
  • Most women still feel pressured to be involved mothers (77% of mothers vs 56% of men) and most men feel pressured to support their family financially (76% of fathers vs 40% of mothers).
  • According to Google, the new generation of mothers is well-informed, highly connected and trendy. The “Digital Moms” are excellent brand ambassadors, with one out three sharing their love for a brand online.

Motivation

  • Millennial moms prioritize quality in baby products, they are organized, and rely on reviews for shopping.
  • New parents feel disconnected from brands, with only 33% of newborn parents and 27% of parents with toddlers saying that brands understand what it truly means to be a parent.
  • Parents are three times more likely to trust social media than TV when it comes to products. Parents of toddlers are more likely than expectant parents to try new brands, probably because they explore new categories during their journey. They are likely to prioritize efficacy over brand name.
  • Twenty-five percent of parents with toddlers are buying from the same brands as opposed to 41% of parents at the beginning of the gestation period.
  • They are also more price-sensitive, with only 25% of them saying they don’t worry about price when looking for products in comparison to the 39% of new parents who, during early pregnancy, show that cost-benefit is a very relevant point.
  • Brand loyalty tends to diminish when the new baby arrives. Parents are more conscious about their lives and what is portrayed by brands.
  • Dads are more likely to say they want exclusive items and are more likely to say that it is important to keep up with the latest trends (74% of new dads vs 66% of new moms). Millennial dads are spending three times more time with their kids than previous generations and are more influential in the purchase decisions than ever before.

Awareness

  • During the first phase of parenthood, new parents are three times more likely to participate in online communities. They cite accessibility and convenience as one of the main reasons to join a community and wish to connect and get advice.
  • Two out of three new parents are likely to use Facebook to get recommendations from family and friends about products and services and, according to Facebook, groups about parenthood and buy/selling communities are especially popular.
  • A research conducted by Facebook discovered that among newborn parents, 38% of them are part of a buy/sell community and 36% are part of a parenthood group. Among parents of toddlers, 42% are part of buy/selling groups and 39% are part of a parenthood group.
  • New parents become increasingly aware of prices after the birth of their child.
  • Parents usually use Facebook for updates about sports, recipes, and have profound discussions with family, friends, and communities. They use Instagram for visually immersive experiences and to discover new trends.
  • Among parents of newborns, 79% use Facebook daily and 65% are likely to receive recommendations from family and friends about products and services. Among parents of toddlers, those numbers go up to 79% and 73%, respectively.
  • YouTube is important for new dads, with 86% turning to the platform for parenting information and advice. Parents are 2.7 times more likely to have a smartphone as their primary device than non-parents and 56% of maternity searches were made on mobiles.
  • Millennial moms spend an average of six hours daily on their smartphones, 62% use shopping apps and 46% took action after seeing mobile ads.
  • When it comes to getting advice from brands, 31% of new parents said the advice received was useful; 37% said it was unhelpful, overwhelming, annoying or condescending; and 26% said they received no advice at all.
  • Millennial moms are aiming for perfection, with 80% of them saying it is important to be “the perfect mom” while millennial dads aim to be present.

Research

  • Fifty-two percent of parents of newborns said that social media helps with information about products and services relating to parenthood and 45% said that social media is their go-to tool for the most recent products and services relating to their baby. Among the parents of toddlers, those numbers go up to 55% and 46% respectively.
  • Studies find that 84% of moms go online for brand recommendations. New moms are more likely than adults in general to visit social media sites, social video sites, product review sites, and blogs, and these mediums have a great influence on moms. Ultimately, data shows 63% of moms find the word-of-mouth they receive to be credible and 55% are more likely to purchase the suggested product.
  • Men are more likely than women to find that online videos have a great impact on their education on topics or products relating to their child.
  • Three out of four parents are happy to view branded content when seeking guidance.
  • Development milestones, nutrition, and communication are the topics new parents seek more information about.
  • When researching a product online, the most sought after information is about the age range (86.9%), ingredients or formulations (75.4%), size or capacity (72.1%), features (70%), benefits (64%), and brand background (38.3%).
  • A survey showed that 50% of millennial parents always research a brand or retailer’s views on topics that matter to them personally and nearly 45% of millennial parents say they will only shop brands and retailers that reflect their social and political values.
  • Personal networks are extremely important for new parents, with 93% of them saying they trust the information they receive from immediate family, 90% from extended family, and 85% from friends.
  • Parents also place a lot of trust in their child’s doctors for information on parenting (93%).
  • Education plays a role in the research process of new parents. Parents with college degrees are more likely to trust science-based information (75%) compared with parents with less than a high school degree (52%). The same can be said for income levels; science-based sites are never used by 22% of the lower-income parents, a Zerotothree survey discovered.

Decision

  • When shopping, millennial dads use their smartphones to check products’ reviews and millennial moms use it to check prices.
  • When shopping in-store, 85% of millennial parents use social media from their smartphones to help them make decisions.
  • Nearly half of millennial moms care about a company’s value and look for companies that align with their values. Social values such as ethical sourcing and sustainability play a big part in the decision-making process.
  • A survey conducted in 2018 found that 74.7% of new parents don’t have enough time to fit everything in and 65.3% agreed that shopping online saves them time.
  • A statistic that illustrates the growing preference for online shopping is that while grocery shopping has a 5.5% penetration rate for the overall population, that number goes up to 8.9% for new parents and 17.2% when it comes to baby consumables.
  • Evidence suggests that parents are cautious in the beginning when they choose baby brands and products. They take their time to review things such as ingredients and formulations. Once they have chosen a brand and have confidence in it, they do not switch frequently.
  • Subscription services are also in the minds of new parents, with 59.6% of them saying they would consider such service for diapers, 52.8% for disposables, 41% for baby toiletries, and 28.2% for baby food. On average, those using a subscription service for baby consumables are 2.8 times less likely to switch brands than those who buy in a regular way from stores or online.
  • When it comes to trust, brands from small firms have the advantage, with 84.9% of new parents trusting them to deliver high-quality products, 80.3% trusting brands from big firms, 69.4% for retailer-own brands, and only 38.7% trusting discount brands.
  • Celebrity endorsement is not relevant for new parents, with only 13% declaring to place more trust in parenting information endorsed by celebrities, while 31% were less likely to trust information that came from celebrities.


Part
03
of three
Part
03

Parent Consumer Journey - Established Parents

The parent consumer journey starts with brand awareness or discovery, followed by brand research through search and social media, and ends with the decision to purchase which is driven by several factors such as product/service's value for money, quality, and reviews or recommendation from other consumers, family or friends.

PARENT CONSUMER JOURNEY

  • Parents are one of the greatest revenue generators in terms of providing for their children’s needs whether for clothing, education and other activities.
  • To acquire and retain parents as consumers, it is important to get their attention despite their busy schedule.
  • A customer's journey consists of 5 elements: awareness, research, decision, experience, and advocacy.

Awareness

  • Brand awareness or discovery is the idea of "priming" a consumer for purchase where a product must be noticed and provides a basic understanding of what is being offered.
  • A study on the channels where parents discover items for purchase ranks TV ads as the top channel for brand awareness, followed by word of mouth or recommendations from family and friends.
  • 66% of parents stated that they notice digital ads, however, they don’t respond to it immediately. However, 50% of parents state that they are more likely to respond if they both see the ad through print and online.
  • An Enrollment Journey case study hinted that "awareness and discovery process will start to direct a parent" in seeking a product or service that is essential to their children's need.

Research

  • When a certain brand or product have been noticed, the second step in the parent's customer journey is to do product/brand research. While there is an overwhelming number of choices for parents, they want a very specific need/experience for their children.
  • Surveys from a mother's perspective show that internet search (47%) topped the overall product research method, while 39% of product research is done on social networks.
  • On social media, Facebook (76%) is the top platform used to search for product information, while 9% is on Instagram, and 4% on Twitter.
  • According to Fluent, 27% of moms search the web to find the latest about children's product, and 34% will read online reviews before making any purchases.

Decision To Buy

  • This is the process of selection which includes the factors that influence the decision-making of parents in purchasing product for their children. These factors are:
    • Value for money — It is of the main driver that influence mothers to purchase a product for their children. According to a survey, 59% of mom consumers see this as most important when making a purchase.
    • Deals — Incentives are powerful instruments because they have a strong influence on consumers purchase decisions. 51% of parents in a survey stated that they may respond to offers with a coupon incentive, while 41% of respondents hints that they may respond to offers to products with discounted price. Mom consumers are also driven by loyalty points and reward incentives.
    • Reviews — Research found that “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations”. 34% of mom consumers read product reviews before making a product or service purchase.
    • Quality and Safety — A survey report established that 43% of mom consumers consider the quality of a product as one of the important factors that influence them to purchase a product, and 29% sees safety as the driving factor.
    • Children’s Influence — For established parents, their children have a big influence on the purchase decision especially to their own children's needs. 73% of parents state that they purchase the product because their children requested and it's for them anyway. This is a way of showing that they trust and respect their children’s decision.

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