Are you marketing to moms? As smart business owners know, moms are a profitable target market because they’re key decision-makers for so many purchases affecting the entire family—from cellphone plans to breakfast cereal to widescreen TVs. Today’s moms are rapidly becoming tech titans, using smartphones, social media and other tech tools to research purchases, read reviews, connect with brands and buy, buy, buy.
As tablet computers are a growing focus of consumer interest heading into the holidays, it shouldn’t be surprising that moms are becoming core consumers in this market, too. A recent survey from Nielsen found that moms’ adoption of tablets is rapidly growing.
In Q3 2010, a Nielsen survey found that tablet and eReader owners were overwhelmingly young and male. But Nielsen’s Q3 2011 survey found some big changes. Sixty-one percent of all eReader owners are now female, up substantially from 46 percent in Q3 2010. And nearly half (43 percent) of all tablet owners are now women.
While tablet owners are still mostly men and eReader owners are now primarily women, the introduction of the Kindle Fire and the latest Barnes & Noble Nook device could change all that. While their focus is still on reading, both devices offer enhanced Web connectivity features such as video streaming and browsing that put them more directly in competition with the industry leading iPad. Both devices are priced far lower than even the cheapest model of the iPad, and both are being heavily marketed toward female users.
While tablet users still make up a small percentage of the overall online shopping population, there are many indicators that they’re a profitable market for e-tailers. For instance, a Forrester Research study reported by the Wall Street Journal found that users who browse e-commerce websites on tablets are more likely to make purchases than other online shoppers. The study found the conversion rate was 3 percent for PC shoppers, and 4 to 5 percent for tablet shoppers.
What does this all mean to your business? Combine two lucrative markets—tablet shoppers and moms—and you’ve got a potential gold mine of tablet-using moms. So what do you need to do?
If you haven’t already done so, optimize your website for tablet users. The tablet experience is different than either the desktop/laptop or the smartphone experience. It’s heavily visual, so photographs of your products are key. While initially tablets were seen as mobile devices, current studies are showing that most tablet shopping is done at home. Think of the tablet as an electronic catalog that women page through while relaxing on the sofa or in bed. She wants the visuals of the catalog experience, as well as the kinds of details, reviews and comparisons you get while shopping on a desktop, so you need to offer the full package.
Apps are also key on tablets, so consider what apps you could create to make shopping easier, more convenient or more fun for mom (and the kids). Most moms buy tablets for family use, so if your products are targeted to children, kid-oriented, mother-approved apps can help attract shoppers.
The mom/tablet market is only going to grow. Gartner Research is projecting that over 63 million tablets will be sold in 2011, and I’m guessing a lot of those sales will take place this holiday season. So if you don’t have a tablet commerce strategy in place for the holiday season, get one ready for the New Year.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her blog at SmallBizDaily.com. Visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.