By Katherine Cullen
It's the time of year when Americans will be getting ready to celebrate all the special moms and dads in their lives with brunches and outings, gifts and heartfelt cards. And for many millennials, these are some of their first to celebrate as new parents.
That’s right, the millennials that have had such a large — and often confusing — influence on retailers are now entering parenthood. In fact, half of kids today have a millennial parent and more than a million millennials became new moms in 2016 alone.
As they enter this new life stage, millennial parents have distinct ways of shopping, spending and engaging with brands, according to NRF’s latest Consumer View report. Ahead of Mother’s and Father’s Day, the NRF research team identified three trends from the report that have a direct impact on how retailers and brands can engage these consumers on their special days.
Young Parents Are Looking for Gifts That Give Back
For millennial parents, what a brand stands for is just as important as the products and services it sells. Half of millennial parents say they always research a brand’s values on issues that matter to them and 44 percent will only shop brands and retailers that reflect their social or political values. Events like Mother’s or Father’s Day can be an opportunity for these young parents not just to celebrate a loved one, but to support brands and causes they believe in. All the proceeds from jewelry created and sold by Akola go back into employing, training and empowering the women in Uganda who make the jewelry. UrbanStems works with the Rainforest Alliance to partner with farms that employ fair labor practices. Similarly, flower delivery company Bouqs only partners with suppliers that practice eco-friendly farming; the company is donating a portion of its Mother’s Day sales to provide meals to children in need.
Subscription Services Are a Way to Explore
Millennial parents love subscription services for everything from everyday goods to special occasion attire to groceries for the family table: 40 percent of millennial parents already use a product subscription service and another third are very interested in trying one. Many brands and retailers are targeting these millennial parents around gifting occasions like Mother’s and Father’s Day. Subscription shaving company Harry’s launched a campaign featuring moments between dads and their kids alongside a special Father’s Day shaving box. Birchbox was encouraging customers to gift their moms a three-month subscription, and Target launched a box of skincare products just for Mother’s Day.
Millennial parents are always connected, turning to technology to research and purchase products at nearly every point in their shopping journey. Most consumers use their mobile devices to look up product information or compare prices early in their shopping journey, but millennial parents continue to use their phones even after checkout to leave reviews and process returns. Social media also plays a role in millennial parents’ discovery process. According to research from Facebook IQ, 73 percent of new parents use Facebook to get recommendations on products or services, and millennial parents are significantly more likely to join online parenting and buy-and-sell communities. This behavior doesn’t just happen on mobile: 26 percent of millennial moms report having a smart home assistant such as Amazon Echo or Google Home; of those, a third use the device for shopping activities. To cater to these consumers, Amazon offered Mother’s Day deals on its Echo devices and Best Buy and Target offered sales on the Google Home Mini.
We dive into more habits of millennial moms and dads in our latest Consumer View. To learn more about how these young parents break the mold, view the report.
Source: National Retail Federation, May 9, 2018 (https://nrf.com/blog/3-ways-retailers-can-meet-the-wishes-of-millennial-moms-and-dads)