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Five shopper insights from two-baby families

Julia Xie

Senior Director, Head of China Shopper Practice

Shoppers 29.08.2018 / 18:34

2nd baby 2 col

More than half of new born babies in China in 2017 are second child of their families, according to National Bureau of Statistics of China.

After China changed its family planning policy to encourage couples to have two children, the country has entered its “two-baby era”. The National Bureau of Statistics said in an article published on January 20 that second babies accounted for 51.2% of all new born babies in 2017, 11 percentage points higher than in 2016. The number of new “second babies” also jumped to 8.83 million in 2017, 1.62 million more than in a year ago.

Partly thanks to the increase of second babies, the sales of parenting products are enjoying a healthy growth. According to Kantar Worldpanel China, the total sales growth of fast-moving consumer goods is 4.3% -- that was outpaced by parenting goods, which grew by 9%. The contributing factors of the growth include increase of babies (+4.4%), higher average price (+2.2%) and growth of number of items in each basket (+2.1%).

EN Source Of Baby Product Sales Growth 

Kantar Worldpanel data also showed that nearly 70% of parenting goods buyers are omni-channel shoppers. Among all channels, specialized mum and baby shop had a penetration of 52%, which means for every 100 families with babies, 52 of them are buying from mum and baby shops.

To understand the shopping difference between one-child families and two-children families, especially when purchasing from mum and baby shops, we researched 200 mothers with two babies in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. We have the following five insights:

1. Machine for time

From the survey, 81% of two-baby mothers are time poor. Being modern mothers, they agree the best thing they can give their children is to spend time together. As a result, they have very strong purchasing intention to buy machines/home appliances/robots that can help them save time, such as floor cleaning robot, window cleaning robot, electric breast pump, egg cooker, and mini rice cooker.

“Machine for time” is a very important principle for two-baby mothers’ shopping. For mum and baby shops, they can open “time-saving machine” corners to demonstrate how these products can save time in real life scenarios. These items can significantly enhance average shopper spending.

2. Chinese proverb:‘Raise first kid according to book, raise second kid like a pig’

Families all get much busier after the birth of their second babies. On the one hand, mothers won’t be able to concentrate all their attentions on the new-born. On the other hand, they are more experienced and would become more knowledgeable about what they need to buy. As a result, they focus more on shopping efficiency:

* They like to stock up. For goods with high qualities, they will buy many items in one visit, and are very likely to buy even more if discounts are good;

* They prefer brands their first babies have used – 58% of mothers will buy what they’ve bought frequently for their first child;

* They prefer decent Chinese brands. During our survey and interviews, mothers told us that they would prefer Chinese brands, especially in toy and apparel categories;

* They like to buy and sell second-hand products: 66% of surveyed mothers said they wish there is a specialized second-hand baby product trading platform. They will be less hesitant to buy high-value durable goods if there is a solution to sell them on to other mothers.

Based on their preference for efficient shopping, mothers said they hope mum and baby shops can provide:

* Quick delivery for discounts and sales information;

* Promotion format could be “discounts for big purchase”, “xx off on every xxx spent”, or provide different colour versions for the same product so that mothers can buy a lot if they like one thing;

* Develop these shops’ brands for toy and apparels;

* Establish partnership with second-hand good trading platforms to increase the ROI and total usage of durable parenting goods.

3. Free my hands so I can open my purse

Two-baby mothers are often “without” hands during shopping because they need to hold both kids. However, in offline shopping, it is essential for consumers to touch products to increase sales.

To cater to this need, mum and baby shops should set up a kid play zone to let children play or watch videos, so their mothers can spend more time to feel the goods. But these zones need to be open to ensure mothers can always keep their kids insights.

Delivery service is another opportunity: in our survey, no delivery is the second most mentioned factor that mothers don’t like about mum and baby shops.



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4. Foster communities for two-baby mothers

Our survey has found that 44% of mothers felt more stressful after their second babies were born; 63% of mothers wish they can join a community to share parenting tips; 66% of mothers said the major information source for shopping decision is recommendations from friends.

This suggests mum and baby shops should establish online communities to recruit mothers as members. It will effectively build stronger bonds between shops and their customers. The shops could also foster key opinion leaders in these communities. If done well, the shops will become an offline community centre that mothers would naturally visit frequently.

5. Buy something for the younger baby, you have to buy something for the older one

Our survey showed that 41% of mothers are also paying attention to the feelings of their older babies. Many mothers said: “When we go shopping, if I buy something for the younger one, I must buy the older one something, too.”

The “balancing attention” trend means mum and baby shops should consider expand their product line/categories. From our survey, 69% of second babies are between 0 and 2 years old, while 71% of first babies are between 3 and 6. The shops should expand the products/categories from only 0 – 2 to 0 – 6.

Source: Kantar Consulting

Editor's notes

* To reach the author, to know more about two-baby family shopping insights, or data, analysis and research of shopper channels in China, please contact us

* Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive news alerts. 

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