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babycenter-moms-use-of-mobiles-shopping-nov11-v-apr12-april2012.jpgMobile devices are playing an increasingly important part in the American mother’s purchase process, says BabyCenter in an April 2012 study conducted in partnership with Nielsen. Comparing results from the survey with results from one it released almost 6 months ago, BabyCenter found a drastic upswing in the proportion of mothers using their mobiles for a range of shopping activities. For example, their use of mobiles for price comparison reviews jumped more than 60% from 28% to 45%, while the proportion using a mobile to decide where to buy nearly doubled, from 16% to 30%. Other activities on the uptick include using a mobile for feature comparisons (37% vs. 21%), to get product ideas (36% vs. 20%), for product or brand recommendations (33% vs. 17%), and to find coupons or deals (31% vs. 22%). The report also notes that 1 in 5 mothers have scanned a barcode for price comparisons in the past 30 days, and 9% regularly scan QR codes.

Overall, smartphone penetration among this demographic has risen to 65%.

New Media Gains a Foothold

Data from the “2012 American Media Mom” indicates that when compared to the general population, mothers overindex the general population on ownership and usage of every digital device, including laptops, DVRs, and gaming consoles. In particular, she is 38% more likely to own an internet TV device, 28% more likely to use a tablet, and 38% more likely to own a smartphone.

This technology adoption has led to a trend for new media to become central to mothers’ media consumption habits. For example, they are twice as likely as the general population to say they spend less time with live TV and radio, and 50% more likely to say they spend more time with online video and internet TV.

Moms’ Media Time Increases

Mothers’ changing habits are actually contributing to an increase in their media time, finds the study. On average, mothers spend almost 11 hours daily with media, and that increases by 3 hours among those who own an internet TV device, and by more than 7 hours among those who own a smartphone, tablet and internet TV.

Multitasking is Second Nature

With all that media use, it’s no surprise that mothers are keen multitaskers. Half say they always or often talk to someone else or use social media while watching TV, while 40% say they combine TV time with going online on their tablet, mobile phone, or texting someone. One-quarter say they talk on the phone.

Other Findings:

  • Mothers spend twice as much time online monthly as the general population (66 hours vs. 33 hours), and spend 63% more time streaming online video.
  • Three-quarters of mothers say they skip all of the ads they can while watching TV, 20% higher than the general population.
  • Mothers are 45% more likely than the general population to use social media. According to April 2012 survey results from Performics, mothers make keen brand ambassadors on social networks, too. Looking at the behaviors of almost 3,000 women who accessed at least one social network on a regular basis, Performics found that mothers were 34% more likely than other women to recommend companies and brands via social networking sites (59% vs. 44%), 25% more likely to talk about companies and brands they follow on Facebook (61% vs. 49%), and almost 50% more likely to discuss them on social networking sites after seeing an ad elsewhere (49% vs. 33%).

About the Data: The findings in BabyCenter’s 2012 American Media Mom report are the result of qualitative research, quantitative survey data, and three-screen behavioral data with Nielsen. BabyCenter conducted in-home interviews with new and expecting moms in Chicago and San Francisco in February 2012 through its research partner Gallin Group. In addition, it conducted in-depth survey research on media behaviors and attitudes among 1100 new and expecting mothers through BabyCenter’s 21st Century Media Panel as well as 1400 non-mothers (referred to as general population) using Socratic’s online panel. Finally, Nielsen provided a three-screen behavioral analysis across TV, online and mobile behavior comparing BabyCenter’s mothers to persons 18+.

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