“Parents are active and engaged online shoppers, turning to the convenience of ecommerce to save time and simplify their responsibilities. In the short term, parents are prioritizing value and savings amid inflationary pressures, driving value-seeking behaviors. Looking ahead, digital-native parents will be an important key demographic; they will look to retailers and brands to deliver personalized and immersive online experiences that aid discovery and enjoyment.”
Brittany Steiger, Senior Analyst, Retail & eCommerce

This Report looks at the following areas:

  • Impact of economic pressures on consumer behaviors
  • Parents’ online shopping approach
  • Parents’ preferred retailers and shopping methods
  • Factors important to parents when shopping online
  • What parents buy online and who they shop for
  • Parents’ attitudes toward online shopping

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Parents with coresident children under age 18, 2011-21
                  • Figure 2: Parents’ online shopping outlook, 2022-27
                • Opportunities and challenges
                  • Parents are feeling the squeeze of economic challenges
                    • Convenience is king, but all concepts of value matter
                      • Today’s parents are heavily influenced by social media and digital experiences
                        • Circular shopping options promote value and sustainability
                          • Key consumer insights
                          • Parents by the Numbers

                            • Fewer parents in the market as family households decline
                              • Figure 3: Parents with coresident children under age 18, 2011-21
                              • Figure 4: Annual births, 2010-21
                            • Millennials make up the majority of parents
                              • Figure 5: Parental status by age and generation, 2022
                            • Parents are having children later in life
                              • Figure 6: Average age of mother at first birth, 1990-2020
                              • Figure 7: Birth rates by age of mother, 2010-21
                            • Household incomes were rising before the pandemic
                              • Figure 8: Median household income of families with related children, in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2010-20
                            • American families are becoming more diverse
                              • Figure 9: Households with related children under 18 in the household, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2021
                              • Figure 10: Walmart celebrates LGBTQ+ parents with “My Family My Pride”
                            • Single parents skew female, low income and multicultural
                              • Figure 11: Parents by marital status – Demographic profile, 2022
                          • Market Factors

                            • Economic pressures stretch household budgets
                              • Inflation remains high but shows signs of easing
                                • Figure 12: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2007-22
                              • Recession still a threat, but the outlook may be brightening
                                • Figure 13: GDP change from previous period, Q1 2010-Q3 2022
                              • Parents are resourceful in managing their budgets
                                • Figure 14: Impact of inflation on shopping behaviors, by parental status, 2022
                              • Tech innovations enable experiential ecommerce
                                • Privacy regulations create challenges for marketers
                                  • Sustainability a growing priority amid climate concerns, especially for parents
                                  • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                    • Deliver across all forms of value
                                      • Hello Bello provides value without sacrificing convenience and quality
                                        • Figure 15: Hello Bello helps parents prioritize value
                                      • Put parents (and kids) in the driver’s seat
                                        • Carters, LEGO get families involved
                                          • Figure 16: Carter’s names Hilary Duff “Chief Mom Officer”
                                          • Figure 17: LEGO gives kids creative control of its 2022 “Build to Give” campaign
                                        • Don’t forget to include dads
                                          • Dove+Men Care celebrates dads year-round
                                            • Figure 18: Dove + Men Care celebrates dads
                                        • Parents’ Online Shopping Habits – Fast Facts

                                          • Parents: Online Shopping Overview

                                            • Parents are avid online shoppers
                                              • Figure 19: Online shopping frequency – Parents, 2022
                                              • Figure 20: Online shopping frequency, parents versus all adults and nonparents, 2022
                                            • Dads, two-parent households shop online most often
                                              • Figure 21: Online shopping frequency, by gender and parental status and family structure, 2022
                                              • Figure 22: Attentive adds “text-to-buy” service to its platform; Amazon offers Venmo payments
                                            • Digital-first parents drive up mobile shopping behaviors
                                              • Figure 23: Devices used for online shopping, parents versus average, nonparents, 2022
                                              • Figure 24: Devices used for online shopping, parents by generation, 2022
                                          • What Parents Buy and Who They Shop For

                                            • Parents manage a high volume of purchases
                                              • Figure 25: Categories shopped for online, by recipient, 2022
                                            • Parents primarily shop online for themselves
                                              • Figure 26: Nordstrom caters to moms with styling services
                                            • Moms take the lead on shopping for kids
                                              • Figure 27: Categories shopped online for children, by parental status and gender, 2022
                                            • Black and Hispanic consumers are heavy online shoppers in key categories
                                              • Figure 28: Select categories shopped online, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                                              • Figure 29: Select categories shopped online for children, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                                              • Figure 30: Secret deodorant’s #OurNamesBelong campaign represents Asian-American parents
                                          • Shopping Method by Category

                                            • Parents are multichannel shoppers, but lean toward ecommerce
                                              • Figure 31: Shopping method, by category, 2022
                                            • Dads rely on ecommerce to get the job done
                                              • Figure 32: Shopping method by category – Exclusively or mostly online, parents by gender, 2022
                                              • Figure 33: CNET’s coverage of Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale
                                            • Family lifestyles drive online grocery adoption
                                              • Figure 34: Shopping method by category – Online food/beverage shopping, by key demographics, 2022
                                          • Parents’ Preferred Online Retailers

                                            • Amazon, mass merchandisers win with parents
                                              • Figure 35: Preferred online retailers, my parental status and gender, 2022
                                            • Lifestages dictate where parents shop
                                              • Figure 36: Select preferred online retailers, by generation, 2022
                                            • Black parents diversify their shopping choices across retailers
                                              • Figure 37: Preferred online retailers, by race, 2022
                                              • Figure 38: Athleta partners with Allyson Felix to support mothers
                                          • Parents’ Online Shopping Behaviors

                                            • Parents take a planned approach to shopping
                                              • Figure 39: Online shopping behaviors, 2022
                                            • Research is a vital component of the online shopping experience
                                              • Figure 40: Google expands shopping search functionality
                                            • Parents also shop online to treat themselves
                                              • Figure 41: Gerber partners with Calm to create special Parents Collection
                                            • Gifting drives parents to shop online
                                              • Figure 42: Online shopping behaviors – Gifting, by key demographics, 2022
                                            • Moms are more experienced shoppers, dads still building confidence
                                              • Figure 43: Select online shopping behaviors, by gender, 2022
                                            • Inflationary pressures drive budget-focused behaviors
                                              • Figure 44: Budget-conscious online shopping behaviors, by gender, 2022
                                            • Younger parents rely on new tools to save money
                                              • Figure 45: Budget-conscious online shopping behaviors, by generation, 2022
                                              • Figure 46: Honey targets parents with coupons and savings
                                          • Why Parents Shop Online

                                            • Convenience and savings drive parents to shop online
                                              • Figure 47: Reasons for shopping online, 2022
                                            • Family structure makes online shopping more appealing for some
                                              • Figure 48: Select reasons for shopping online, by key demographics, 2022
                                            • Multicultural and lower-income families shop online to save
                                              • Figure 49: Reasons for shopping online – Price & savings, by race and Hispanic origin and household income, 2022
                                              • Figure 50: Skinskool’s “Skincare Compare” tool enables discovery across price points
                                          • Parents’ Online Shopping Preferences

                                            • All concepts of value are important
                                              • Figure 51: Important factors when shopping online, 2022
                                              • Figure 52: Important factors ranked, 2022
                                            • Free shipping, product price and quality are table stakes
                                              • Free returns are a sticking point
                                                • Experiential factors enable differentiation
                                                  • Younger parents more likely to value personalization and tech options
                                                    • Figure 53: Important factors when shopping online, by age of parent, 2022
                                                    • Figure 54: Claire’s “Shimmerville” experience on Roblox
                                                  • Single parents need an assist
                                                    • Figure 55: Important factors when shopping online – Value, by family structure, 2022
                                                • Parents’ Shopping Influences

                                                  • Parents are heavily influenced by digital media and personal recommendations
                                                    • Figure 56: Parents’ online shopping influences, 2022
                                                  • Younger parents turn to social media and digital ads
                                                    • Figure 57: Parents’ online shopping influences, by age of parent – Digital media, 2022
                                                    • Figure 58: Social media platforms utilized, by age of parent, 2022
                                                  • Moms and dads have individual preferences
                                                    • Figure 59: Parents’ online shopping influences, by gender of parent, 2022
                                                    • Figure 60: Social media platforms utilized, by gender of parent, 2022
                                                • Parents’ Attitudes toward Shopping Online

                                                  • Online shopping is more convenient
                                                    • Figure 61: Parents’ attitudes toward shopping choices, 2022
                                                  • Strengthen the online value proposition for moms and dads
                                                    • Figure 62: Parents’ attitudes toward shopping choices, by age and gender, 2022
                                                  • Convenience is critical for most, but may be out of reach for lower-income shoppers
                                                    • Figure 63: Attitudes toward online shopping – Convenience, by household income, 2022
                                                  • Parents are informed and conscientious shoppers
                                                    • Figure 64: Attitudes toward online shopping – Shopping preferences, by generation, 2022
                                                  • Young dads interested in social commerce and connectivity
                                                    • Figure 65: Attitudes toward online shopping – Social commerce, by gender and age of parent, 2022
                                                    • Figure 66: Tubby Todd Bath Co. creates community for parents
                                                  • Kids have influence on what parents buy
                                                    • Figure 67: Attitudes toward online shopping – Kids’ input, by generation 2022
                                                    • Figure 68: American Girl debuts podcast for parents to share with kids
                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                  • Data sources
                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                          • Terms
                                                          • Appendix – The Market

                                                              • Figure 69: Households, by presence of related children, 2011-21

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