In the UK, the average age for women to have their first baby has risen from 27 to 28.5 in recent years. In 2014, over half of all births were to mothers aged 30 and over. Meanwhile, the pregnancy rate for women over the age of 40 is also at a record high (ONS: 2014). There are approximately 8.4 million people in the UK aged 25-34 years of age, of which just under half are female. It’s a big market to go for - but just why is it that mums in particular are so attractive as an acquisition strategy?
To start with changes in her situation or circumstances pre and postnatal force her to review her brand repertoire and her shopping preferences across a range of categories. What’s more, mums are around 80% more likely or very likely to influence others about toiletries. That’s pretty powerful brand loyalty.
Skin Changes in Pregnancy.
During pregnancy skin type can often shift from being combination to either normal or dry. For some, this changes back once baby arrives, though some remain with dry skin. It’s predicted that around one third of mums would potentially change their skincare products as a result of starting a family and as such, there are two points of change:
– During mid-pregnancy;
– When baby first arrives.
Thus offering brands two opportunities (and threats) for acquisition and/or pro-active retention.
Coupled with the financial pressures of starting a family, women are more likely to decrease their spend on skincare rather than increase it, with around half of all women not changing their spend level at all. That’s about a 20% basket-value opportunity. However, it worth pointing out that during pregnancy mum-to-be is more likely to increase spend on skincare due to body changes, and it’s not until after pregnancy that her spending decreases.
So what does she buy?
Entering family stage sees a marked increase in body moisturisers (or oil) and hand creams, whilst use of speciality treatments such as masks or serums and sunless tanner decreases significantly. In pregnancy, it’s worth noting that mum will increase her use of both body moisturisers and oils as she tries to keep her body skin moist in the challenge of dealing with stretch marks that might be caused by a growing bump. Similarly, use of body cleansers, scrubs and shower gels increase during pregnancy and for the first six months of the child’s life before declining.
Most notable, facial moisturising cream usage typically increases during pregnancy and immediately after birth. Interestingly, this declines again when the baby reaches 4-9 months of age, then increases again as she possibly returns to work.
Handcream use is higher across all stages of the parenting journey, in comparison with life before children and is probably down to all that hand and equipment washing!
Seasonal buying patterns.
There are a number of seasonal events that offer a real opportunity to skincare brands. Mums will buy more products for themselves during the summer months and for the festive season. They’ll also increase their spend on others for both Mother’s Day and Christmas.
Rise of the eco-mum.
It’s estimated that 2 in 5 mums look to use skincare products that are milder or fragrance-free. It’s interesting that mums’ attitude and awareness of what she puts on her baby’s skin and her own is much more important. This transcends to UVA protection as her child gets exposed to the sun during toddler-dom (you can view some of our sun protection campaign work here).
Pregnancy is a real point of market change and offers a clear opportunity for skincare brands. Pregnancy drives changes in skin type and new skincare needs (e.g. stretch marks). As a result, mums spend increases while the brands they use also change to meet these new and changing needs. There is significant opportunity for brands to increase usage amongst pregnant women if they are able to communicate effectively with them.
What’s the opportunity?
A final thought….
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