Second Time Around: Do Moms Shop Differently for the Second Baby?


When that second baby comes along, parents are now pros. They have plenty of experience to help make this time around with a newborn hopefully go a little smoother (or at least with less stress and maybe even more sleep). It’s also a bit less exciting for parents. As the youngest in my family, I used to flip through pages and pages of baby pictures of my older brother and sister, and wonder why there were so few of me lying around. Obviously, I was just as cute as them. But with three kids four and under, my parents didn’t really have an extra hand to hold a camera, let alone time to think about having us all pose for a picture. Time is always a premium with parents; so when that second kid comes, brands need to be as ready as parents are.

A recent global study by the market-research firm Trybe of more than 20,000 new or expectant parents found some surprising behavior when it came to purchasing new products for their second child. Parents often started back at square one when it came to brand choice — showing little to no loyalty to those brands they purchased for their first child. Only 4% of American respondents said that they knew which brands they wanted to buy for their second child. Only 7% of those respondents relied on previous purchases to make the brand choice, while 39% said they will buy new brands. So parents who will be looking new (again) for a brand that they trust.

The big challenge here for brands is that, even though these parents might not feel loyalty, they also lack some of the original enthusiasm to search out the best products. Parents of a second child have less time to be internet sleuths, read reviews, watch product videos, and scour Pinterest for the perfect product. Only 13% of parents said that they searched for as much information this time around as compared to their first baby.

So, product and brand information needs to be easy to find and easy to consume. Social media is clearly the platform of choice. When parents look for product reviews, 58% mostly use social media as their primary information source. which is second only to friends (65%). And not-so-shockingly, lots of those friends post on social media, making this platform critical in building (or rebuilding) brand loyalty. More than half of parents surveyed use social media to learn about product details (53%) and safety warnings (55%). Half also report discovering new products on social media, while 37% use social media for “inspiration” when deciding on new baby products.

Marketing takeaways:

  • Use social media in an authentic way. Encourage parents to show off your products online.
  • Give new parents a reason to change to your brand (or stay with it) that goes beyond the product. Millennial moms in particular respond well to cause-related marketing. In a recent survey, 54% of Millennial women said they’d change brands to support a cause they care about.
  • Emphasize how your products have improved. Moms have not paid attention to your product since their last baby, but do place a premium on innovation, especially in terms of safety and reliability.
  • 7 out of 10 moms recommend products to other moms. This happens in-person and online. Without mom approval, your product is dead in the water.

To find out how other parents in other countries shop for baby products and to dive deeper into American parents’ shopping habits, read about Trybe’s study here.

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Jimmy Zollo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Collaborata -- a Chicago-based tech startup serving the insights and marketing research world. Collaborata is the first-ever platform that enables organizations to share research costs and insights. Collaborata was a finalist for the 2017 Midwest Digital Startup of the Year, the 2016 Insight Innovation Award and has been featured on Business Insider, BuiltInChicago, Greenbook, Quirks, Research Live, MRWeb, and Market Research World. For more information, please visit: Jimmy developed his passion and enthusiasm for the Chicago tech community, while driving growth at GrubHub for four years. He helped develop GrubHub's industry-leading restaurant network, traveling across the country to launch new markets and grow existing ones. Following GrubHub's IPO and merger with Seamless, Jimmy transitioned to the corporate team, leading partnerships between GrubHub and many of Chicago's leading law, consulting, tech, and marketing firms.