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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Parents’ Online Shopping Habits market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

What you need to know

  • Issue: parents are active online shoppers, yet some hesitation still exists
  • Opportunity: reducing hesitation through omni-channel capabilities
  • Issue: endless options dilute loyalty
  • Opportunity: use social media to establish meaningful connections with parents

Covered in this report

This report will focus on how parents are shopping online across categories, including what motivates consumers to shop online, what barriers currently limit or prevent consumers from purchasing online and what retailers can do to improve online shopping in the future. In the Mintel consumer data referenced, parents are defined as male and female internet users aged 18+ who are parent/ guardian to at least one child under the age of 18 in the household

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Alexis DeSalva, a leading analyst in the Retail & Apparel sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Parents are active online shoppers and their varied needs cause them to shop a variety of items and retailers. However, that doesn’t mean hesitation to buy online is non-existent and some parents require convincing to shop for more than just replacement or restock items and to feel comfortable buying more than what they need or are used to. Their reasons for buying are also intentional, with a desire to save time and money, creating loyalty challenges for retailers.
Alexis DeSalva
Retail & Apparel Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Issue: parents are active online shoppers, yet some hesitation still exists
              • Opportunity: reducing hesitation through omni-channel capabilities
                • Issue: endless options dilute loyalty
                  • Opportunity: use social media to establish meaningful connections with parents
                    • Issue: savings motivates most online trips
                      • Opportunity: build baskets with young parents
                        • What it means
                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                          • Family growth is stagnant, due to changing lifestyles
                            • Today’s parents are digitally native, but still seek traditional experiences
                            • Market Size

                              • Growth of family households is stagnant
                                • Figure 1: Parents with coresident children under age 18, 2008-18
                            • Market Perspective

                              • Parents today: who are they and how do they shop?
                                • Figure 2: Parents by age, February 2019
                                • Figure 3: Parents by generation, February 2019
                            • Market Factors

                              • Smaller and fewer families will impact needs and behavior
                                • Figure 4: Households, by presence of own children, 2008-18
                                • Figure 5: Households by number of members, 2018
                              • Diverse families lead to diversified shopping needs and preferences
                                • Figure 6: Households with related children (% of total), by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2018
                                • Figure 7: Living arrangements of children under age 18 (%), by race, 2018
                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                              • Amazon and mass are most shopped and most preferred
                                • Department store retailers are overshadowed
                                  • Emerging interest in second hand stores and subscription services
                                  • What’s Working?

                                    • Amazon is universally appealing
                                      • Figure 8: Preferred retailers (NET any rank) – Most preferred (top four), February 2019
                                    • How Amazon wins with shoppers
                                      • Try-before-you-buy options
                                        • Customized delivery options
                                          • Physical locations
                                            • Young parents appreciate Walmart and Target
                                              • Walmart’s efforts to win parents
                                                • Target’s efforts to win parents
                                                  • eBay is favorited by dads
                                                  • Which Retailers Are Losing Parental Preference?

                                                    • Least preferred retailers
                                                      • Figure 9: Preferred retailers (NET any rank), February 2019
                                                    • Department stores and club stores lack parental approval
                                                    • What’s Next?

                                                      • Emerging retailers
                                                        • Alternative purchasing options will grow in popularity, especially among young parents
                                                          • Figure 10: Subscription services and second hand retailers shopped, by age, February 2019
                                                        • Retailer to watch: Solly Baby
                                                          • Figure 11: Solly Baby “How I Wrap” in New Standard wrap, March 2018
                                                          • Figure 12: Solly Baby “How I Wrap with Dad” in the New Standard wrap, March 2018
                                                      • Consumer Insights – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Parents shop a variety of categories online, often frequently
                                                          • Most parents conduct multichannel searching and shopping
                                                            • Convenience and value-players win with parents
                                                              • Savings prompts parents to shop online, while most trips occur for gifting or specific needs
                                                                • Deal-seeking dominates but opinion of others influences parents
                                                                • Items Shopped and Purchase Frequency

                                                                  • Key takeaways:
                                                                    • Parents more likely to shop online for most items
                                                                      • Figure 13: Items shopped (select), parents versus general population, February 2019
                                                                    • Shopping the necessities and doing so frequently
                                                                      • Figure 14: Items shopped, February 2019
                                                                    • Young, affluent parents shop across categories
                                                                      • Figure 15: Items shopped (select), 18-34s with HHI of $50K+ vs overall, February 2019
                                                                    • Moms shop for the household, while dads make specific purchases
                                                                      • Figure 16: Items shopped, by gender, February 2019
                                                                    • Hispanic parents are frequent shoppers
                                                                    • Shopping Method

                                                                      • Key takeaways:
                                                                        • Parents more likely to search across channels
                                                                          • Figure 17: Multichannel shopping method (NET any category), parents versus general population, February 2019
                                                                        • Searching and shopping primarily occurs in-store for most purchases
                                                                          • Figure 18: Shopping method – Categories searched, February 2019
                                                                          • Figure 19: Shopping method – Categories purchased, February 2019
                                                                        • School purchases can encourage cross-category shopping
                                                                          • Figure 20: Select categories bought online, 18-44s vs over-45s, February 2019
                                                                          • Figure 21: Select categories bought online, by gender, February 2019
                                                                        • Clothes shopping is a multi-channel experience
                                                                          • Figure 22: Multichannel clothes, shoes and accessories shopping, by age and gender, February 2019
                                                                      • Retailers Shopped Online

                                                                        • Key takeaways:
                                                                          • Amazon is universally shopped by parents
                                                                            • Figure 23: Retailers shopped by parents, February 2019
                                                                          • Young dads are interested in alternative purchasing options/retailers
                                                                            • Figure 24: Subscription services and second hand retailers, by age and gender, February 2019
                                                                          • Hispanic parents are adventurous shoppers
                                                                            • Figure 25: Retailers shopped online, by Hispanic origin, February 2019
                                                                        • Reasons for Buying Online versus In-store

                                                                          • Key takeaways:
                                                                            • Motivations for parents to shop online
                                                                              • Time
                                                                                • Money
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Reasons for buying online versus in-store, February 2019
                                                                                • Young moms enjoy shopping online
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Young women and single moms reasons for buying online versus in-store, February 2019
                                                                                • Price, in some form, is a priority to all parents
                                                                                  • Figure 28: Price-related reasons for buying online, by age, February 2019
                                                                              • Reasons for Buying

                                                                                • Key takeaways:
                                                                                  • Gifting and occasions are top reasons parents shop online
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Reasons for buying, February 2019
                                                                                  • Younger parents don’t always stick to their shopping lists
                                                                                    • Figure 30: DSW email campaign, March 2019
                                                                                    • Figure 31: Reasons for buying, by gender and age, February 2019
                                                                                  • Moms are gifting, dads are replacing
                                                                                    • Figure 32: Reasons for shopping – Gifting vs replacing, moms vs dads, February 2019
                                                                                  • Hispanic parents are impulsive shoppers
                                                                                    • Figure 33: Reasons for shopping (select), Hispanic vs Non-Hispanic, February 2019
                                                                                • Online Shopping Behavior

                                                                                  • Key takeaways:
                                                                                    • Deal seeking dominates most parents’ behavior
                                                                                      • Figure 34: Online shopping behavior, February 2019
                                                                                    • Younger parents seek assistance from apps and tools
                                                                                      • Figure 35: Online shopping behavior, by gender and age, February 2019
                                                                                    • Family input impacts dads’ decisions
                                                                                      • Figure 36: Sperry email campaign, March 2019
                                                                                      • Figure 37: “I consult my family before buying” – Dads, February 2019
                                                                                    • Hispanic parents utilize outside sources
                                                                                      • Figure 38: Online shopping behavior, by Hispanic origin, February 2019
                                                                                  • Purchase Influencers

                                                                                    • Key takeaways:
                                                                                      • Opinions of others matter most
                                                                                        • Figure 39: Purchase influencers – NET any rank, February 2019
                                                                                      • Social media has bigger influence on young parents
                                                                                        • Figure 40: Purchase influencers, by age, February 2019
                                                                                      • Opportunity to connect with certain parents through social mission and brand values
                                                                                      • Attitudes toward Online Shopping

                                                                                        • Key takeaways:
                                                                                          • Loyalty is low online
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Attitudes toward online shopping, February 2019
                                                                                          • Automatic replenishment options appeal to younger dads
                                                                                            • Figure 42: “Automatic reorders/replenishments are helpful” (% agree): dads, February 2019
                                                                                          • Young, affluent parents are targets for basket building
                                                                                            • Figure 43: Select attitudes toward online shopping (% agree), 18-34 with HHI of $50K+ vs overall parents, February 2019
                                                                                            • Figure 44: Vineyard vines email campaign, January 2019
                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                            • Sales data
                                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                    • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Purchase frequency (NET weekly & monthly), February 2019

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