I want to understand trends in retail behavior for millennial moms buying toys for their kids age 5-11

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I want to understand trends in retail behavior for millennial moms buying toys for their kids age 5-11

Hi, and thanks for the request for the trends in retail behavior for millennial moms buying toys for their kids age 5-11.

I've found eight major trends that affect millennial moms' purchase preferences and have done my best (based on the prevalence of the trend online) to list them in order of importance. The top three factors that influence millennial mom purchases for their children are social responsibility, mobile access to products, and value, but there are several other factors that set millennial moms apart from other generation groups.

SOCIALLY COMPASSIONATE IN PURCHASES
Millennials are very socially compassionate compared to other age groups; they want to make a difference in the world in any way possible. The brands that most appeal to this value are the brands that millennials have the most loyalty to. According to the Exponential Advertising Intelligence Whitepaper linked below, 92% of millennials report that they "want" to buy products that support charities or bigger causes. A 2013 "Millennials as New Parents" study found that out of the 1,000 participants studied, 50% reported that they "try" to buy products that support causes and charities.

For example, in 2014, Target launched a Buy One, Give One charity that matched $25 million in school supplies. The initiative resonated especially well with Millennial mothers, whose children were around the same age as the children in need.

The three brands that millennial parents favor most - Nike, Target, and Apple - all have "social responsibility" platforms. Nike has the Better World initiative that focuses on wellness and health issues as well as Native American cultural issues. Target contributes to multiple causes, including health, poverty, and the environment. And Apple regularly places focus on sustainability.

Bottom line here is, one of the best ways to gain loyalty of this particular demographic is to focus on causes that make a difference in the world.

HIGHLY MOBILE SHOPPING PREFERENCES
Millennials are notorious for being glued to their phones, and their retail habits reflect this trend. According to a CBS News article, millennial parents still have a high reliance on their smartphones for information and purchases, and are impatient with brands that are not tailored for mobile devices. The INC.com website linked below reports that four out of five millennials shop directly from their mobile device, and 55% of them will use multiple devices to shop. Some of the biggest frustrations with their mobile experience are: slow load times, pages that are hard to use with mobile, small or fuzzy images, slow checkout process, and lack of interactive features. A notable 68% of millennials won't wait longer than five seconds for a page to load on their mobile devices, according to the 2014 Millennial survey results.

FRUGALITY/VALUE
The Advertising Intelligence Whitepaper reports that Millennial parents have an increased spending power over other generations. This can probably be attributed to the rise in gender equality in the workforce and female career encouragement in their generation. However, Millennials are more frugal with their money than their predecessors in Generation X. Before they are parents, millennials' buying decisions are 57% based on quality, rather than price, according to the Millennial Marketing Study. After they become parents, their buying decisions are based 50% on quality. NPD, a marketing consultancy, found that millennial mothers are more likely than older mothers and women without children to place importance on coupons. While 36% of millennial mothers place more importance on retailers that regularly offer coupons, only 30% of older mothers place as much importance, and only 28% of women without children. Millennial mothers are also more likely to enjoy shopping at discount retailers such as Walmart and Target than the older generation.

CONVENIENCE
Millennials are known to be relatively impatient, as we've found with their attention spans when it comes to slow-loading mobile pages. Convenience is frequently listed among top priorities when it comes to shopping preferences for millennials. Millennial moms care more about easy checkout (47% report this as a priority) than older moms (only 36%report this as a priority). This is a trend both on and offline. Convenience was the second top value listed in the Goldman Sachs 2015 report for millennial parents, coming second in priority only to safety.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND ONLINE PREFERENCES
Millennial moms source their information on the web in various ways, but I will try to explain where they are most prevalent. According to the Forbes article linked, one of the most popular methods of finding information for millennial moms is through "Momsourcing." Momsourcing occurs when moms created online blogs and websites dedicated to providing information for other moms. These sites educate mothers on prominent issues, share tips, product reviews, and personal experiences, according to Forbes. For exposure, millennials go online for product reviews, but they still value personal recommendations, according to the 2014 Outlook on the Millennial Consumer Report, cited by Forbes. According to the Advertising Intelligence Whitepaper, social media heavily influences retail purchases by millennial parents.

The social media habits of millennials change after they become parents, as they use 56% less Tumblr, and 48% less Twitter. At the same time they more frequently visit parenting communities and engage in social media on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, according to the Goldman Sachs report cited by CBS.

PROGRESSIVE VALUES: GENDER NEUTRALITY/BLENDED FAMILIES
Millennial parents consider equality of genders and ethnic groups when making purchasing decisions. They are more attracted to brands that promote gender neutrality and brands that display blended families in advertising than other age groups. Blended families are growing enormously, with 1/2 of newborns being non-white, and 15% of marriages being interracial. For example, a Cheerios campaign featuring a biracial daughter, black father, and white mother when viral because it aligned itself with progressive, cause-based millennial thinking, according to the Advertising Intelligence Whitepaper.

With regards to gender neutrality, GoldiBlox is a great example. According to Millennial Workplace Expert Lindsay Pollack, Goldiblox makes female-oriented building and engineering toys, breaking the stereotype that only boys play with building toys. Lego increased its offering figures of women in STEM industries to promote gender neutrality.

According to a Time.com Survey Monkey poll in 2015, millennials are more likely than the older generations to purposefully purchase gender neutral toys. Fifty percent of millennial parents bought these toys, while only 34% of Generation X and 34% of Baby Boomers did the same.

DEVELOPMENTAL PRODUCTS
Building on the Goldiblox and Lego references (no pun intended), the Goldman Sachs report also found that millennial parents favor toys that encourage development. Toys should be developmental and relate to entertainment titles. Hasbro makes an excellent example of this with Transformers, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony, Star Wars, Marvel, and Frozen. Millennial parents also appreciate toys that encourage girls to learn STEM skills and critical thinking, such as the Goldiblox toys, according to Pollack.

LOVE FOR HOLIDAYS
According to multiple sources, millennials love the holidays, but do not spend excessively for them. According to Keltonglobal.com, a business consultancy, almost 60% of millennials report to "love" shopping during the holidays. Boomers are 3X more likely and Generation X are 2X more likely to hate shopping than millennials. Millennials also reported larger and more flexible budgets for the 2015 holidays.

Cheatsheet.com cites a survey by TaxSlayer in reporting the following statistics about millennial holiday spending:
• 78% of millennials would rather be considered a "Scrooge" than spend too much on holiday shopping
• Over half of millennials report that their budget is the factor most likely to influence holiday spending - more than advertisements, offers, family and holiday spirit
• One out of five millennials reported being willing to eat Ramen noodles for five months straight to be able to afford everything on their gift list
• Nearly 25% save for at least four months in advance for holiday shopping
• Half devote at least two months for holiday gift savings
• Most respondents planned to cap holiday gift spending at $300

I hope that this research provides your client with the insight needed to create future plans. To summarize this research, we found eight major trends that influence a millennial mom in her purchase of toys for children ages 5-11: social responsibility, mobile access, value, purchasing convenience, social media and online reputation, progressive values such as gender neutrality and blended families, developmental value, and a love for the holidays. I hope that this sets you on the right track, and thanks again for using Wonder for your research needs!
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