Everything you think you know about babies is outdated these days, except when it comes to strollers, as parents in the EMEA are feeling positively passionate about old-fashioned prams! Retailers can take credit for this phenomenon, in part, but the heart of this story lies squarely with the parents pushing it. Literally. Let’s see what retailers are getting right, along with what they can learn from social listening.
Strolling Through Life & Along Comes Baby
Whether planned or a happy surprise, a baby changes its adult(s)’ lifestyle, including his/her purchase priorities. One necessity is, of course, the stroller – and its high-end sibling, the pram.
What are prams exactly? They’re those trendy old-fashioned looking strollers you see babies traveling in, of late. And these traditional looking bits of business are a top ‘must have’ item on any registry, which is interesting considering the audience is anything but traditional.
Demographics surrounding parenthood have changed over the years, of course. One change includes an increase in blended families: “Due to the normalisation of divorce, more people are having several marriages and divorces. As a result, a lot of families have children from various mothers or fathers.” And large extended families as well, leading to lots of travel between households.
There’s also been a marked increase in single parent households in the European Union:
And single parents have less time to do . . . well most things, as they’re doing double-time. So having durable and reliable baby travel items has become more important than ever. But we can’t assume folks are willing to put function over form, even when it sounds likely. Safety is, of course, key, as is convenience – but that’s far from the full story. If it were, we’d have fewer pretty prams on the market, no doubt.
Safety, Convenience and . . . Cute?
The market has spoken and “[t]he introduction of latest baby strollers and prams with multi-functionality and innovative safety features are [set] to fuel the expansion of this market within the coming years.”
Interestingly enough, our UK audience, which ranks among our top “pram” purchasers, have some additional criteria that comes up when we search for sentiment shared on NetBase Pro:
Although they want these prams to be “legit,” light and worth it, there’s a strong demand for “cute” and lovely options that will make the other babies goo and gah with drooling envy.
The sentiment shows we’re working with a discerning crowd, as any mom group will be, and the negative attributes are just as key to be mindful of as the positive. They can’t be too bulky, heavy or expensive . . . or can they? This is where you need to take the hashtags with a spot of sentiment to dive deeper and see if words match actions. Searching for popular pram hashtags alone with not give the full story, and may leave you focusing on the wrong things.
Just ask this Instagram influencer, who is budget conscience, but also loves this pricey iCandy pram because it’s “Solid, very manageable, with a super stylish look, it’s a bit like the Rolls of the strollers”and it’s quality that’s “worth it.”
And it seems other parents agree, with iCandy strollers coming in as a top pick on top travel system lists, which include lots of more reasonably priced pram competitors.
Could those other manufacturers make more money from this budget conscience audience? There’s certainly a high-end niche to keep in mind. Any line offering a high-end option could likely compete to some extent, but the quality is the kicker.
Conversely, the iCandy and Bugaboo strollers of the world could offer more economical options, but would need to carefully consider such a move, as it could cost them their luxury branding, and that’s not a move to take lightly. They’d do better to focus on more eco-friendly options moving forward, as the EMEA report predicting market growth suggests a trend toward green options, and sentiment surely supports that prediction:
If there’s any business that will never go out of business, it’s the baby business! But even these evergreen products very obviously aren’t, with demographics constantly in flux and global competitors seeking to find that niche need first.
Babies are big business, and mastering any mom market leaves retailers consistently racing to stay ahead – a pram race, of sorts – and one sentiment analysis helps them win!
We can help you win whatever race you’re running as well. Reach out for a demo, to see your new competitive edge in action!