Spider taps into mom’s shopping senses

Company's first mom shopper marketing study reveals moms time-pressed and focused on value and convenience.

Toronto shopper marketing agency Spider Marketing Solutions has shifted gears in the last year, marrying its shopper marketing expertise with its mom demo specialty in marketing to moms – and that new focus has culminated in the firm’s first study that combines Canadian shopper marketing insights with info on how Canadian moms shop.

The mom-specific shopper marketing research is important, says Christine Ross, Spider managing director and partner, because 80% of purchase influences are mom-driven. “Mom is buying the bulk of the shopping and influencing it.”

Ross adds that a lot of shopper marketing research doesn’t segment the shopper into different groups, but she says not all shoppers are the same. “We have to understand the nuances of how moms shop…especially in the grocery store.”

Spider president and partner Rico DiGiovanni says a lack of Canadian-specific mom data means marketers are using US insights that don’t always apply to the Canadian market. “We can plot that purchase stronger if we know how moms act here.”

The report was drawn from an online survey of 7,537 Canadians conducted by IMI International and released in March 2011, which was further customized this fall for Spider using the responses from 1,933 moms. Respondents answered questions about their shopping attitudes and behaviours and gave details about their last shopping trip specifically related to food, beverage, personal care, over-the-counter, beauty care and household products.


Trip types & times:

Almost 60% of moms surveyed spend 30 minutes or less grocery shopping.

When asked which of the following trip types characterized their overall purpose for visiting the store, 43% of moms said their most recent trip to the store was a “quick trip” where they picked up a couple of specific items. And when it comes to trip times, 59% of moms spend 30 minutes or less grocery shopping. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, DiGiovanni says, as the less time shoppers spend in a store, the more they buy.

“The nature of mom’s shopping trip is not to fill up that basket,” says DiGiovanni. “You’ve got to offer up some simple solutions in the in-store environment according to what her needs are.” Co-merchandising or bundling items in the grocery and mass retailers, he says, would make life easier for time-crunched mom.

Shopper types & pre-shop:

Almost 50% of moms segmented into bargain hunters (32%) and savvy shoppers (17%). The former group, moms aged 35 to 44, enjoy doing pre-shopping research, using flyers as well as retailer and specialty websites. Almost 50% made a shopping list, highlighting the importance of targeting before they hit the store.

Meanwhile the “savvy shopper” mom aged 18 to 34 is best appealed to in-store as she doesn’t do a lot of pre-shop, tending to make decisions based on in-store specials.

While the pre-shop is important, especially for older moms, Ross says there’s still an opportunity to influence her once she’s in-store, given that 83% of all mom respondents said they’d buy a product they hadn’t intended to buy if there were a limited-time sale.

“The shopping list is a guideline,” she says, and it’s not always the be-all and end-all to be on it as brands can easily be bumped if the items are on sale and merchandized conveniently.

“Convenience and value trump almost everything else when it comes to mom grocery shopping behavior,” she says. “I have even seen convenience trump health.”

In-store behaviour:

Though the survey suggests mom doesn’t have any time for drawn-out in-store experiential activities, she has the time to nab a sample, and her purchase decisions are likely to be influenced by a wide range of other activities. Anywhere from 29 to 83%, depending on the in-store activity, said they were “very” or “somewhat likely” to purchase products they hadn’t intended on buying. This included limited-time offers (83%), coupon tear pads (74%), reward points with purchase (61%), co-promotions (53%) and shelf talkers offering nutritional information (43%). Product advertised on in-store digital displays or TVs would likely influence only 29% of moms surveyed, underscoring her lack of time when shopping.

As to shopping at mass retailers, 90% of moms surveyed “somewhat agreed” that they prefer stores where they can buy everything they need in the same trip. That’s an increase of 24% (compared to only 9% of women without kids who answered) in the last year.

Feature photo courtesy SMN, Flickr Creative Commons.