This article was originally posted on MyTotalRetail.
There are approximately 85 million mothers in the United States. From baby boomers to millennials, these consumers have a tremendous amount of purchasing power, at approximately $2.45 trillion. It makes sense that many brands have already identified moms as one of their most important customer segments, but you’d be remiss to paint the mommy-shopper with broad strokes.
To make sure you’re appealing to moms across all generations, you need to understand their nuances.
1. Appeal to in-store preferences. The in-store customer journey looks different for young moms than it does for older moms.
For first-time moms — 90 percent of whom are millennials — technology is a lifeline. What’s more, 84 percent reportedly use their smartphones while shopping in stores, whether they’re looking up coupons or researching a specific product. Use that fact to your advantage: Serve millennial moms branded messages while they’re inside your brick-and-mortar locations to nudge them down the path to purchase.
While younger moms look to technology for a seamless shopping experience, baby boomers would rather see a friendly face. Your older-mom shoppers are less likely to turn to their phones for information about a product. High-quality customer service is important to this segment, and you need to be prepared to deliver.
2. Cater to their life stages. By presenting certain products as solutions for life-stage needs, you’ll forge a strong brand connection during a time when a consumer is more likely to be responsive to new products.
According to Mintel’s 2016 Marketing to Moms report, when young women become mothers, their attention starts to shift away from themselves and toward their children. Their lives become consumed with nurturing another human being. To cater to that when targeting this segment, place importance on products that simplify their lives, which 57 percent of millennial moms identify as important.
Baby boomer moms, on the other hand, are likely starting a very different stage in their lives. Their children are beginning to leave the home. There’s an enormous opportunity to cater to this change, too. Perhaps highlight products that emphasize newfound freedom and the ability to treat oneself.
Bottom line: Understand where your target consumers are in life and work to appeal to those circumstances when marketing to them.
3. Tap into influencers. Millennial moms, in particular, are looking for authenticity in the products they buy. They want to know that someone they trust will vouch for a brand. According to Goldman Sachs, millennial moms are more likely than their older counterparts to buy products that celebrities have endorsed.
Take The Honest Company, for example. Actress Jessica Alba is not only the company’s co-founder, but she’s also a millennial mom. Featuring her as the face of the company was an incredibly smart move because she can appeal to its target customers, who see themselves in her.
You don’t necessarily need to partner with a big celebrity to reap the benefits of influencers, however. In fact, I recommend working with those who hover in the power middle — e.g., 10,000-250,000 followers. Even better? Work with local influencers who can help drive traffic to your physical stores.
By embracing and understanding the shopping habits of both new and experienced mothers, you can engage and persuade women to shop with you during this season of their lives (and beyond). Listen to their thoughts, understand their purchasing power and embody the way it relates to your brand.