More to Moms Than Meets the Eye


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Sometimes I forget I’m a mom. Not that the teenager doesn’t remind me every day, but it’s more that I’ve never been the “mom” type. When our children were all babies in Boston, I used to invite my mom friends and their kids to fly out to Cape Cod in my small plane. When they all freaked about it being unsafe, that was my first clue that I didn’t really fit the Mom mold.

But every once in a while I realize that yes, I am indeed a Mom. A recent study from flash-sale website TOTSY on changes in Mom’s shopping behavior confirms the fact yet again, as I fit right into the segment that the survey profiles. It’s an important segment, and one that COLLOQUY studied in our cover story, The Mom Effect, which outlined the buying power that Mom has, and strategies marketers have developed to win her loyalty.

Mom recently adopted new shopping techniques during the recession, according to the study, including using digital coupons, daily deal and flash sites. Bingo – all my mom friends and I are signed up for Groupon and Living Social, and many of us use our grocer’s smartphone app with digital coupons. We’re glued to our phones all day anyway, it’s just not efficient to tear ourselves away to sort through paper coupons.

When Moms shop, the top decision-influencing factors are quality, lowest price and convenience. According to the survey, 54% of Moms perform research online before completing a purchase, and Moms are least concerned with customer service and brand name. This rings true for me too – we’re looking for shoes, backpacks and music headphones that work and that we can afford, not necessarily ones that will impress our kids’ friends.

It would be easy to dismiss this New Mom as being entirely focused on price, but don’t make that mistake. Let me help dig a little deeper into Mom’s thinking, so we can unpack this analysis a bit more:

1. Moms may be focused on value, but we are also concerned with getting what we want, and here is where brand sometimes matters. In other words, Mom is not looking for the cheapest peanut butter, she’s looking for the cheapest all natural peanut butter. She doesn’t necessarily want the most inexpensive pair of fleece-lined boots, but the best price on UGGS.

2. Don’t confuse Mom’s lack of interest in customer service or brands with not wanting soft benefits. According to the survey, these Moms are “liking” an average of three brands a month on Facebook in order to find exclusive deals. Mom is looking for relationship and access, and time-saving is a top priority.

3. Mom likes digital coupons, but make sure they are personalized. We don’t have time to read through a long list of offers and rewards that we won’t use, so don’t send Back-to-School incentives to a new mom, or diaper coupons to one whose kids just started kindergarten. If you do, we will quickly jump to a retailer who pays more attention.

Moms may be using digital coupons and shopping online, but we aren’t living our lives online. According to the survey, more Moms were influenced to purchase via traditional Word-of-Mouth methods, like talking with friends and family, than by television or social media. This fits with the 2011 COLLOQUY Word-of-Mouth study, which found that 87% of Word-of-Mouth Champions (high-level brand advocates) had brand conversations face-to-face, while only 48% used social networking sites.

A quick glance at this new information may make you think Mom is only interested in price, but a deeper analysis of your own customer-specific data will likely reveal more nuanced insights. I will agree that Mom has changed – last week my 86-year-old grandmother bought herself a Mini for her birthday. And who knows, maybe now that our kids are older my friends might even take an airplane ride with me.

Phaedra Hise
As Senior Editor, COLLOQUY, Phaedra leads the creation of new editorial pieces for multiple distinct content platforms in the COLLOQUY media enterprise: COLLOQUY magazine, the Enterprise Loyalty in Practice journal, COLLOQUY web site, COLLOQUY social media blog, COLLOQUY Network Partner content commitments as well as other LoyaltyOne vehicles.


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