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Millennial dads shop differently than moms on mobile: study

Millennial parents are taking to mobile to help shop in-store and retailers need to adjust their strategy to accommodate the new mobile-savvy parent.

In a study by Retale examining the shopping habits of millennial parents, data shows that bot men and women spend a substantial amount of time through the mobile space to assist with the in-store shopping experience, but there are some key differences in their shopping habits on mobile. The research shows that 85 percent of millennial parents use their mobile devices for in-store shopping, while dads use their devices to check reviews, moms are searching for deals.

“Millennial parents are, at their core, no different than parents of other generations faced with the daunting task of raising children,” said Pat Dermody, President of Retale. “What is interesting, though, is as shoppers, millennial parents face a much more challenging economic environment than the previous generation.

“As a result, they have become more price-sensitive and savvy buyers,” he said. “In our new report, the key takeaway is that smartphones and mobile devices, generally, are the newspapers for the modern era, serving as the primary conduit for in-store retail deals, coupons and savings.

“To compete with e-commerce growth and its benefits, like convenience, retailers need to respond by offering productive shopping trips, they need to offer a variety of products at prices individuals can afford. From a marketing perspective, though, they also have to take advantage of how digital and mobile-first millennial parents are, retooling in-store shopping by making mobile core to the overall purchase experience. That can take many forms, including location-based, real-time deals through an app.”

Millennial growth
As the millennial generation matures, it is now responsible for a substantial portion of retailer sales for parents. These retailers must now adjust to the new generation of parents emerging, who have grown up digital-first.

It is now becoming detrimental to retailers not offering deals through mobile, as this has become a main deciding factor for millennial mothers as to where to purchase. In the past mobile deals were an added perk for customers and retailers, but now with the digital-first generation all grown up it is dominant in the retail industry.

This is especially pertinent for women rather than men, with 66 percent of moms claiming searching for deals and coupons is the top task when using their mobile devices in retail. Millennial dads ranked this as their fifth most used reason, with 49 percent of male shoppers claiming deals are the top priority.

The millennial mom is not only searching these deals but spending a lot of time on mobile accessing saved deals as well. The search for coupons and discount prices are not just for research, these women are using the deals frequently, which means it is a key factor in driving sales.

Many of these women will not shop products unless a deal is involved, 40 percent of millennial moms claimed to only shop with mobile coupons and deals. The millennial dad feels similar, but not as strong with 22 percent claiming to only shop with a deal.

Research has shown that the number one reason millennial fathers use their phones for retail is for product reviews and ratings, with comparing prices a close second. Other popular tasks men use their phones for shopping was to find nearby locations, store hours, product research and creating shopping lists.

Both genders claimed they are likely to make a purchase in store with a mobile deal, with 76 percent of women surveyed and 64 percent of men agreeing.

Driving through mobile
Mobile is a key-driving factor in not just millennials but all consumers with in-store sales. Ratings, reviews and mobile deals have shown significant benefits in bringing customers in-stores.

Consumers have not stopped visiting bricks-and-mortar stores, but the mobile space has significantly shifted in-store behaviors and retailers need to be cognizant of this and embrace it, according to a Deloitte Consulting analyst at Mobile Commerce Daily’s Mobile Research Summit: Data & Insights 2015 (see more).

Many brands and retailers are cognizant of the millennial parent and the importance of mobile when it comes to driving engagement.

For instance, Coca-Cola extended its presence in the mobile fitness space and bolstered its connection with mothers by joining drugstore chain CVS and Morris Media Network’s regional Parent magazine group in challenging Southern United States families to track healthy lifestyle practices on a mobile-optimized Web site in exchange for prizes (see more).

“In general, retailers need to develop an overall seamless shopping experience across all devices and channels to offer parents the ability to naturally traverse between brick-and-mortar and online environments,” Mr. Dermody said. “More than ever, though, mobile is that intersection.

“It is the bridge between the two sides, making it possible to move back-and-forth,” he said. “More retailers need to approach retail buying through a mobile-first lens, while keeping in mind what millennials value, affordability and savings.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily