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Marketing to Mums - China - November 2013

“Chinese mums are becoming more demanding in what they want to achieve as well as savvier in how they achieve these goals. This has profound implications and opportunities for brands marketing to mums.”

– Ruyi Xu, Deputy Research Manager

In this report, we answer the following key questions:

  • What are the characteristics of Chinese mums and what is likely to be the demographical portrait of them into the 2020s?
  • What are mums’ top concerns in their lives and how does this affect their allocation of spending and purchasing behaviour?
  • Who has the biggest influence on mums’ purchasing decisions and how can mums be targeted more effectively?
  • What are the typologies of Chinese mums and what does it mean in terms of marketing communication?
  • How can brands embrace more opportunities in marketing and selling to mums online?
  • What kinds of opportunities are there for businesses to tap into mums’ top concerns over child education?
  • What are the needs of today’s working mums and how can brands engage with them through product offerings and marketing communication?

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition
        • Report structure
          • Methodology
            • Abbreviations
            • Executive Summary

                • The mum population
                  • Figure 1: Population projection of women aged 20-49, Total and urban China, 2006-21
                • Two important demographic changes are taking place
                  • Figure 2: Mums in China, by age demographics, 2013 vs. 2018
                • Uniqueness of Chinese mums
                  • The consumer
                    • Mums’ top concerns reflect the importance of family over self
                      • Figure 3: Mums’ top concerns, July 2013
                    • Mums place importance on quality but are also spending in a savvier way
                      • Figure 4: Changes in shopping habits, July 2013
                    • Spending on children’s education, premium food and drinks rise the most while that on personal luxury items falls
                      • Figure 5: Changes in spending allocation, July 2013
                    • Friends and professionals are a greater influence on mums than parents, with online also taking over from traditional media
                      • Figure 6: Influencing persons and channels, July 2013
                    • Health, fashion and beauty, and entertainment shows still garner strongest interest
                      • Figure 7: Programmes watched most often, July 2013
                    • Key issue: Attitudinal differences across Chinese mums
                      • Figure 8: Typologies of mums, July 2013
                    • Key issue: Capitalising on online opportunities in marketing and selling to mums
                      • Figure 9: Market size of online retailing in China, total and mother and baby products, 2010-12
                      • Figure 10: Consumer online shopping habits, by respondents with children and without children, February 2013
                    • Key issue: Catering to mums’ top concern over child education
                      • Key issue: Marketing to today’s working mums
                        • What we think
                        • An Overview of Mums in China

                          • Key points
                            • Mums by the number
                              • Figure 11: Population of mums in China, 2013
                            • Mum population: shrinking in total in China, rising in urban areas
                              • Figure 12: Birth rate in China, 1979-2011
                              • Figure 13: Fertility rate in China, 2003 vs. 2011
                              • Figure 14: Population projection of women aged 20-49, Total and urban China, 2006-21
                            • Changing demographics of Chinese mums
                              • Postponed child birth leads to older first-time mums
                                • Figure 15: Fertility rates for first born child in China, 2011 vs. 2003
                                • Figure 16: Average marriage age in China, 2000 vs. 2010
                              • In five years’ time, over half of mums will be the 80s and 90s generation
                                • Figure 17: Mums in China, by age demographics, 2013 vs. 2018
                                • Figure 18: Mums’ attitudes towards appearance and social activities, by age, July 2013
                              • What makes Chinese mums different?
                                • Being a working mum is the norm in tier one to three cities, driven by mums’ desire to provide better care for children and maintain their independence
                                  • Figure 19: Working status of mums, by age of children, July 2013
                                • A strong controller of family finances
                                  • Figure 20: Control of finances, July 2013
                                  • Figure 21: Mums’ concerns, July 2013
                              • The Consumer – Mums’ Top Concerns

                                • Key points
                                  • Mums’ top three concerns: child education, family health and financial wellbeing
                                      • Figure 22: Mums’ top concerns, July 2013
                                    • Child education stays on top from birth until reaching adulthood
                                      • Figure 23: Mums’ concerns over child education, by age of children, July 2013
                                      • Figure 24: Mums’ concern over child education, by income, July 2013
                                      • Figure 25: Financial impact of children’s education, April 2012
                                    • Differences in concerns by high vs. low income mums
                                        • Figure 26: Mums’ top concerns, by income, July 2013
                                    • The Consumer – Changes in Shopping and Spending

                                      • Key points
                                        • Spending for quality, but saving by making smart purchases
                                            • Figure 27: Changes in shopping habits, July 2013
                                          • Younger mums more attracted by places with child-friendly facilities and online shopping
                                              • Figure 28: Changes in shopping habits, by mums’ age, July 2013
                                            • Spending on children’s education, premium food and drinks rise the most, while spending on personal luxury items falls
                                                • Figure 29: Changes in spending allocation, July 2013
                                              • Mapping spending changes according to children’s age
                                                  • Figure 30: Changes in spending allocation (% of mums doing activities more than a year ago), by children’s age, July 2013
                                              • The Consumer – Mums’ Purchase Influencers

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Friends outweighs parents, online exceeds TV
                                                      • Figure 31: Influencing persons and channels, July 2013
                                                    • Mums with higher levels of income and education tend to leverage multichannel information
                                                        • Figure 32: Influencing channels, by income, July 2013
                                                        • Figure 33: Influencing persons, by income, July 2013
                                                        • Figure 34: Influencing persons, by income, July 2013 (continued)
                                                      • Mums most interested in health, fashion and beauty, and entertainment programmes
                                                        • Figure 35: Programmes watched most often, July 2013
                                                        • Figure 36: Programmes watched most often, ‘education news’ and ‘children’s programmes’, by mums age and children’s age, July 2013
                                                      • Mums with higher levels of income and education watch more fashion and beauty as well as leisure and travel programmes
                                                          • Figure 37: Programmes watched most often, by mums’ personal income and level of education, July 2013
                                                      • Key Issue – Attitudinal Differences among Chinese Mums

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Typologies of mums
                                                            • Figure 38: Typologies of mums, China July 2013
                                                            • Figure 39: Attitudes, by types of mums, July 2013
                                                          • Pragmatic ambitious mums
                                                            • What do they think?
                                                              • Who are they?
                                                                • How do they act?
                                                                  • Marketing implications
                                                                    • Mature under-control mums
                                                                      • What do they think?
                                                                        • Who are they?
                                                                          • How do they act?
                                                                            • Marketing implications
                                                                              • Dedicated anxious mums (23%)
                                                                                • What do they think?
                                                                                  • Who are they?
                                                                                    • How do they act?
                                                                                      • Marketing implications
                                                                                        • Self-indulgent mums (17%)
                                                                                          • What do they think?
                                                                                            • Who are they?
                                                                                              • How do they act?
                                                                                                • Marketing implications
                                                                                                  • What does it mean?
                                                                                                  • Key Issue – Capitalising on Online Opportunities when Marketing and Selling to Mums

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Rapid growth of online retailing in China
                                                                                                        • Nearly all mums who are internet users have shopped online
                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Online shopping penetration among mums, by platforms, February 2013
                                                                                                        • Mother and baby sector grows faster than total online retailing
                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Market size of online retailing in China, total and mother and baby products, 2010-12
                                                                                                        • Online retailers make strategic investments in mother and baby sector through integration
                                                                                                          • Mums buy more than just mother and baby products online
                                                                                                            • Figure 42: Products bought via online channels in the last 12 months, by mums and not mums, February 2013
                                                                                                          • While price is a strong driver, other important factors are in play
                                                                                                            • Nearly 60% of mums shop online for ideas and inspirations
                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Consumer online shopping habits, by age of mums, February 2013
                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Carrefour’s French cuisine and food online advertising, China 2013
                                                                                                            • Younger middle-class mums engage in Hai Tao to buy directly from overseas via online
                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Chinese mums showing their Hai Tao purchases at online forums, China, 2013
                                                                                                              • Innovations in online marketing to mums
                                                                                                                • Offer mums the social aspects of their online shopping experience
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Mums’ social network activities conducted in the past three months, by age of mums, February 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: US social shopping website ‘The Prowl’, 2013
                                                                                                                • Turning community-type mother and baby websites’ membership asset into more revenue opportunities
                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Baby Box gift box from babytree.com, China, 2013
                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Babytree launched in home early education product Mika World in China, 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Babytree launches B-Smart Watch for mums and mums-to-be in China, 2013
                                                                                                                • What does it mean?
                                                                                                                • Key Issue – Catering to Mums’ Top Concern over Children’s Education

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Child education is the number one priority in mums’ lives
                                                                                                                      • More mothers nowadays find child education means more than academic excellence
                                                                                                                        • However, they are still pressured to keep up with others and play ‘tiger mums’
                                                                                                                          • What can brands do?
                                                                                                                            • Mums need knowledge, empathy and confidence
                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Attitudes towards being a parent and child raising skills, by different types of mums, July 3013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: TV show Dad, Where are We Going? gains huge popularity in China, 2013
                                                                                                                            • Building a brand’s core value on children’s learning and development
                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Omo ‘let’s play, China’ advertising, 2013
                                                                                                                            • Leverage offline brand interaction with socially responsible PR campaigns
                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: P&G’s Duracell launches ‘toy share’ campaign in China, 2013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: BMW’s Children’s Traffic Safety Training Camp in China, 2013
                                                                                                                            • Retailers can attract family visitors by offering a child-oriented in-store experience
                                                                                                                              • Figure 56: Shanghai’s Kerry Parkside organized party at the groovy haunt Halloween party, 2013
                                                                                                                              • Figure 57: Shanghai’s K11 shopping mall creates unique in-store experience with mini-urban farm, 2013
                                                                                                                            • What does it mean?
                                                                                                                            • Key Issue – Marketing to Today’s Working Mums

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Striking a balance between family and career
                                                                                                                                  • Not all mums take the same approach
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Attitudes towards balancing work and family, by types of mums, July 2013
                                                                                                                                  • Marketing opportunities: quality time is more important
                                                                                                                                    • Product opportunities: bringing convenience, efficiency and all-in-one solutions
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 59: New product launches in household care in China with convenience related claims, 2008-13
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 60: Mr Muscle toilet cleaning gel, China, 2011
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Quaker oatmeal product offers more choices and quick cooking tips, China, 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Helping mums to get back on-track in their career
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Mums’ top concerns ‘furthering my career’, by city, July 2013
                                                                                                                                      • The change from the ‘yellow-faced wife’ to the pursuit of being a ‘hot mum’
                                                                                                                                        • Wide consensus that women should look attractive even after having a child
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Popular TV show Hot Mum, China, 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Attitudes towards self-appearance, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Clarins’ maternity care gift set and mother-to-be spa treatment, UK, 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Philips facial sauna and hair styler for in-home usage, China, 2013
                                                                                                                                        • A new way of connecting to mums by redefining happiness
                                                                                                                                          • Strong desire to receive others’ compliments on appearance suggests mums need the ‘feel good factor’
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 67: Attitudes towards self-appearance, by types of mums, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Mums’ happiness – starting to be redefined from self-happiness first
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 68: Attitudes towards personal needs and satisfaction, by types of mums, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • What does it mean?
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Age Structure of Chinese Women

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Age structure of Chinese female population, 2006-21
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Incidence of Mum and Age of Children

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Number of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Number of children, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Age of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Age of children, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Financials

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Working status, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: Working status, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 76: Working status, by demographics, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 77: Working status, by age of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 78: Control of financse, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 79: Control of finances, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 80: Control of finances, by working status, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Concerns

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 81: Mum’s concerns, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: Mum’s concerns, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Mum’s concerns, by demographics, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Mum’s concerns, by age of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Behaviours

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Shopping behaviours, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Shopping behaviours, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Shopping behaviours, by demographics, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 88: Shopping behaviours, by age of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 89: Spending behaviours, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 90: Spending behaviours – Buy premium food and drinks, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 91: Spending behaviours – Buy premium personal care products, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 92: Spending behaviours – Buy premium household care products, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 93: Spending behaviours – Purchase clothes for my family, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 94: Spending behaviours – Provide educational/learning activities for children, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 95: Spending behaviours – Have holidays with my family, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 96: Spending behaviours – Purchase jewellery/personal luxury items, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 97: Spending behaviours – Dine out with my family, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 98: Spending behaviours – Purchase electronics, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 99: Spending behaviours – Entertainment activities, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 100: Spending behaviours – Go on day trips with my family, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 101: Spending behaviours, by age of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 102: Spending behaviours, by control of finance, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Influence

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 103: Influencing persons, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 104: Influencing persons, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 105: Influencing persons, by demographics, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 106: Influencing persons, by age of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 107: Influencing persons, by control of finances, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 108: Influencing channel, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 109: Influencing channel, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 110: Influencing channel, by demographics, July 2013 (continued)
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 111: Other influencing channel, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 112: Influencing channel, by age of children, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Attitudinal Statements

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 113: Types of mums, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 114: Agreement with the statement ‘It is difficult for me to find time to think about my appearance since becoming a mother’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 115: Agreement with the statement ‘My own needs usually take second place after my child(ren)’s’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 116: Agreement with the statement ‘I feel more satisfied about buying things for my family than for myself’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 117: Agreement with the statement ‘It’s hard to balance looking after my children with other areas of my life’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 118: Agreement with the statement ‘I am willing to pay extra for products or services that make my life easier’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 119: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to take care of my children myself rather than giving these responsibilities to another person’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 120: Agreement with the statement ‘It is still important for a woman to look attractive even after having a child’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 121: Agreement with the statement ‘It is still important to be socially active in various activities after having a child’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 122: Agreement with the statement ‘I feel good about receiving compliments from others about my personal appearance or my child’s appearance’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 123: Agreement with the statement ‘I feel it is difficult being a parent’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 124: Agreement with the statement ‘I want to learn more about bringing up children so I can improve my child rising skills’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 125: Agreement with the statement ‘Recommendations and experience from others about parenting are important to me.’, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Further Analysis

                                                                                                                                              • Figure 126: Target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 127: Target groups, by demographics, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 128: Age of children, by target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 129: Working status, by target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 130: Control of finances, by target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 131: Mum’s concerns, by target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 132: Shopping behaviours, by target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 133: Spending behaviours, by target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 134: Influencing persons, by target groups, July 2013
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 135: Influencing channel, by target groups, July 2013

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                                                                                                                                          Marketing to Mums - China - November 2013

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