Smartphone Adoption Among Moms Has Risen 64% in Less Than Two Years

Posted by at 11:20 am on March 29, 2011

BabyCenter today released its “21st Century Mobile Mom Report,” which revealed that mobile phones – and smartphones in particular – have become indispensible to moms, who are 18% more likely than average to have a smartphone. Overall adoption of smartphones among moms has risen 64% over the past two years, and 51% of moms say they are “addicted” to their smartphone. The study captures the opinions and behaviors of more than 5,000 U.S. moms and members of the general population and gives detailed information on how, where, and when moms use their smartphone and the best ways for marketers to reach them.

“The smartphone screen is more intimate than any other medium out there today. The majority of moms sleep with their cell phone next to their bed and more than half check their phone first thing in the morning and last thing before they go to sleep. You can’t say that about any other medium,” said Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President of BabyCenter. “Mobile isn’t just a media channel, it’s her constant companion that makes juggling easier. It makes her feel like a better mom.”

Motherhood is a trigger for mobile adoption

More than half (53%) of the women surveyed said they purchased a smartphone as a direct result of becoming a mom. During this transition to motherhood, the most important features of her phone changed from her address book and text messaging to her camera, up 78% to #1, and video camera, which increased by 167% to #2. Apps, which weren’t even on her top ten list of important mobile features before she became a mom, increased 67% to #3 on the list. More than half (52%) of the moms surveyed have ten or more apps downloaded, with nearly 25% of the apps being for her kids.

Moms are mobile power users

She may never have mastered programming the VCR, but today’s mom knows her way around the smartphone. The majority (68%) know how to use most of the features of their smartphone, and 75% troubleshoot their own phone. The ultimate multitasker, Mom now uses her smartphone to manage more than just the family schedule. One-third (33%) of moms have used their smartphone for health and wellness in the past month, making a mom 50% more likely to do so than average. Their health and wellness activities include tracking their family’s health (60%) as well as researching health conditions (90%). Moms are also 40% more likely than average to use their smartphone for social networking. Her top three social activities include reading social newsfeeds (56%), updating her status (54%), and reading answers to posted questions (48%).

Mobile forever alters the path to the register

As the primary purchaser in the family, today’s mom seamlessly weaves mobile into her shopping experience by using tools to research, decide, and buy right in the store. The report found that 68% of moms use their smartphone while shopping – meaning a mom is 15% more likely to do so than average. In fact, nearly half (46%) claim the most convenient time to receive information about a product is when they are in the store. Also, 62% of moms use shopping apps to research or compare prices.

Mobile addiction changes media consumption

Mom’s media consumption has evolved along with her smartphone adoption. On average, she spends 37% of her daily media time with her smartphone, which is double that spent on TV, and more time than with other media, including radio, magazines, and newspapers. With her schedule maxed out, mom is turning to e-mail and text messaging to simplify her life. The inbox has become the new portal, with 78% of moms saying they use e-mail on their smartphone to filter incoming communications on a daily basis. Moms are also 284% more likely than the average adult to text their friends rather than call them.

Moms tap on mobile ads

When it comes to mobile ads, moms love utility, with coupons, nearby local deals, and bar code scanning rounding out the top three most appealing features of mobile ads. Nearly half (46%) of moms have taken action after seeing an ad on their smartphone.

“The fact that mobile is mainstream for moms, and is always on, creates infinite possibilities for today’s marketers. The mobile media inflection point is now. Marketers need to understand this to build deeper and more meaningful connections with Mom,” said Michael Fogarty, Global Publisher of BabyCenter.

The study captured the opinions and behaviors of more than 5,000 moms and members of the general population as well as an ethnography study of 23 moms that included over 1,000 text logs, 200 video entries, and 32 hours of in-home interviews.

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