While women are clearly enjoying the convenience of online shopping, it seems that mothers have been a little slower to take-up the opportunity to buy baby goods online – until now. The kalahari.com 2013 parenting shopping survey reveals that the number of connected moms purchasing baby items online has grown by more than 12% since 2012.

The 2013 kalahari.com parenting shopping survey reveals:
* 74% of connected moms work full time at a place away from home, compared to 67% of respondents in 2012;
* kalahari.com has seen an increase in traffic to its baby category by 40% since the beginning of the year;
* 80% of new parents are comfortable sharing images of their children on social media; and
* New parents are more inclined to shop online using a tablet device than the average shopper.

South Africa’s leading online retailer, kalahari.com, conducted a parenting survey for the second year running and the latest results revealed that more moms are shopping online for baby items than before. 16.3% of respondents prefer to shop online for baby products compared to a mere 4% in 2012.

“The online shopping model can be a huge asset to new moms. Those first few weeks, as exciting as they are, can also be quite daunting, and the ability to enjoy the convenience of doing your shopping online can be very empowering when you feel like you’re stuck at home,” says Caren Genthner-Kappesz, CEO of kalahari.com and mother of two.

Connected moms are also working moms. The survey revealed that 74% of moms work full-time at a place away from home, a 7% increase compared to 67% of respondents in last year’s survey.

Since kalahari.com launched its new baby category, an extension to its already wide range in 2012, it has noted a 40% increase with regards to traffic to its baby category since January this year, as more and more parents become interested in shopping for baby items online.

“We were surprised last year to see how few moms were buying their baby goods online and realised from the start that having the right range of products would be absolutely key. The result has been astounding, both our baby and toy categories have proved to be strong growth areas on kalahari.com,” says Genthner-Kappesz.

According to the survey results, the most purchased items online by moms in South Africa included; toys (78.4%), educational books (60.6%), clothes (35.3%) and of course nappies (27%).

But kalahari.com also learnt that the digitisation of the modern South African mom isn’t only limited to the way in which she buys nappies. A massive 80% of connected moms admitted to flocking to social media to share pictures of baby’s progress with friends and family online.

“It’s a polarising topic. Those who don’t share pictures online definitely rank safety concerns as the primary reason, but most moms are only too happy to share their pride and joy on Facebook,” says Gethner-Kappesz.

Facebook is certainly the preferred platform in which to share baby’s progress, with a whopping 96% of moms indicating it as the platform of choice. The next favourite was Instagram with only 13% of respondents making use of it and Twitter following at 8%.

“This baby related online activity proves to us that mom’s are active in the digital sphere and we believe it enforces the argument that there is great potential for growth in the baby goods category”, says Gethner-Kappesz.
“What’s also interesting is that moms prefer to shop using tablet devices, perhaps tablets are easier to handle with a small baby than a laptop or PC.”

kalahari.com indicated that compared to the rest of its site, tablet traffic visiting its baby shop is 1.5 times the proportion of the rest of its site. “This further confirms findings from our 2012 mobile and tablet survey which indicated a 10% growth in tablet ownership amongst women from the previous year,” says Gethner-Kappesz.

When asked respondents how they choose to keep in touch, 68% of new moms preferred to keep in touch via instant messaging opposed to traditional phone calls, due to the fact that messaging is cheaper and silent, which is important for them around their sleeping baby.

It is evident that there is a growing trend for parents, who are taking advantage of the convenience of online shopping for purchasing baby items.

Genthner-Kappesz says, “More and more well-known baby labels are also seeing the opportunity and joining the e-commerce arena in South Africa. We hope we will see a bigger rise in the number of mums opting to shop online for their baby item.”