Understanding the Shopping and Searching Habits of New Parents

Father’s Day is on the horizon, but whether or not you’re a parent yourself, as a small business owner, you’ve got reason to care about shopping habits of new moms and dads. Why? Because new moms and dads are in a whirl of purchasing, shelling out cash for everything from baby accessories and clothes to furniture and toys. Google recently took a look at how new parents shop, and what they found has some useful advice for how to use online marketing to reach out to these big-spending customers.

First and foremost, new and expectant parents are major online searchers. They do twice as many searches as non-parents.

Second, new and expectant parents are major mobile searchers. Consider:

  • Some 56 percent of maternity-related Google searches take place on a mobile device.
  • Mobile searches related to babies and parenting are up 25 percent in the last year.
  • New and expectant parents are 2.7% more likely than non-parents to use a smartphone as their primary device.
  • Mobile views of parenting videos on YouTube rose a whopping 329 percent this year.

There are a couple reasons mobile use among new parents is so high. First, many have grown up with technology and mobile devices. Eighteen-to-34-year-old new parents search on mobile 54 percent more than older parents.

As any new parent knows, another reason is convenience. How easy it is to grab your phone, even while you’re holding or feeding the baby, and get the answer to your question about what to do or where to buy something?

The most common searches once baby arrives involve health—not surprising as new parents struggle with the challenges of raising an infant. But once the baby reaches toddler age, searches about school and college trump all. Apparently it’s never too soon to start saving for college or planning for a move into that top school district.

What do these findings mean to you?

  • Think mobile. Clearly, parents’ use of mobile will only grow as mobile devices become ever more sophisticated and parents get busier and busier. Develop a mobile campaign that provides value (such as timely discounts and deals) but isn’t too intrusive into a new parent’s limited downtime.
  • Target your marketing. Knowing what concerns parents at different ages have (health vs. school) can enable you to tailor content such as blog posts, articles and email newsletters to their interests.
  • Focus on search. Use parent-related keywords in pay-per-click advertising and website content to capture online parents. Advertise on parent-related websites. If your business targets local consumers, up your local search directory presence.
  • Educate. New parents are hungry for information, so any advice, information and education you can provide to help them on the lifelong journey of parenthood will help build a relationship with your brand. (Consider those YouTube parenting videos!)