UK Mums are target audience for M-commerce at Christmas, duh…
Christmas adverts have become somewhat of a cultural event usually featuring emotional short-films with themes of love and friendship lending themselves to the more caring, maternal target audience.
Cute animations are the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down, the medicine being the news that women do the lions share of the work at Christmas and the reality of battling the crowds for with a softly sung cover version over the top of it. But do these campaigns constantly reinforce it is the women who do the work at Christmas cause a self perpetuating cycle where the expectations are continuously pushed on to women?
Christmas Ads Are (Obviously) Traditionally targeted at mums
Remember Asda’s Christmas ad campaign last year? The mum tirelessly marches around searching for the ideal Christmas tree, stuffs endless mountains of Christmas cards into labels whilst feeding a baby, untangles fairy lights, shops at Asda, wraps presents, prepares children…The message unveiled at the end of the advert was “behind every great Christmas there’s a mum” which caused a backlash from the internet and received over 600 complaints to the advertising watchdog. Asda hit back at critics citing research showing this depiction as an accurate experience of Christmas by many families and pointing out it is just simply fact that women do indeed most of the work over the festive period – whether that is right or not.
Mobiles are a key resource for mums shopping at Christmas
As Asda steers clear of controversy this year by opting instead for some thrifty snowmen, the above recent survey by Emarketer shows their point from last Christmas still rings true, at least in the US and Canada where the survey was conducted. They found that some 70% of mothers expect to buy over 3/4 of the gifts in their households over Christmas in 2013.
This research further shows that whilst mothers are shopping they are also comparing prices on their phone, searching for discounts and scouting for better deals online as pressure falls on mums to keep costs down for the families over the holidays. Emarketer’s advice to the mobile commerce world is to remain visible to mums during key online shopping, and bricks and mortar shopping, times over the Christmas period by offering discounts and special deals online that are accessible through mobile to allow for easy comparisons.
The conflation of mobile commerce with “real life” shopping is growing in popularity, mobile and bricks and mortar strategies can and should work in tandem. An example of a major retailer putting this into practise is John Lewis offering an app that enables customers to scan a barcode of a gift in store to reveal their online reviews and ratings. How much research has gone into making this app mum-friendly I wonder?
Men’s use of Mcommerce outstrips women
But in an interesting twist, research conducted by Emarketer in 2012 showed that men actually make purchases far more often than women using mobile commerce the rest of the year. So although it is women who are primarily using Mcommerce for comparisons and discounts in the lead up to Christmas, it’s actually men are more comfortable using mobile devices for shopping purposes. This could be identified as an opportunity for companies to target shopping apps at men who it seems do not feel brave enough to tackle the high street at the best of times, let alone during the madness of the festive season.