Smartphones and tablets are indispensable to mums, BabyCentre mobile report finds

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Mobile mums: smartphones and tables becoming indispensable

Mobile mums: smartphones and tables becoming indispensable

Smartphone adoption has risen to 87% among UK mums and almost half (41%) own a tablet device, according to the 2013 Mobile Mum Report from leading website for new and expectant mums, BabyCentre.co.uk.

Smartphone adoption by mums has increased by 21% since July 2012, while tablet ownership has surged 128% in the same period. This year, over a third of mums confessed to being addicted to their smartphone, up from less than one in five just 15 months ago, researchers found.

For the first time, Android has overtaken BlackBerry to be the second-most favoured brand in the mummy mobile market. The iPhone is still most popular amongst mums with 45% choosing Apple, up 6% from 39% in 2011.

Vincent DeLorca, UK general manager and VP of Global Partnerships at BabyCentre, said: “For the modern mum, the smartphone is indispensable. It is the first thing she checks when she wakes up, and the last thing she looks at before going to sleep. She reaches for it to help her manage her finances, organise tasks, shop, entertain the kids and interact with friends – it’s incredible how much a part of family life this device has become. Smartphone addiction is a very 2013 affliction.”

BabyCentre’s 2013 Mobile Mum Report, an update to 2011 and 2012 BabyCentre reports on mobile, represents the results of an in-depth survey completed by 939 mums and mums-to-be. The report is the latest instalment of BabyCentre’s 21st Century Mum Insights Series.

The smartphone is the savvy shopper’s tool 

Smartphones have become indispensable for mums when it comes to shopping, BabyCentre found. In the past 30 days, half of mums have shopped online using their mobiles, and of those who do so, two thirds have visited a retailer’s site and over half (57%) have searched for information about a particular product on their mobile. Clothing and shoes are the most popular mobile purchase and getting the best price or obtaining a discount voucher are key drivers to mobile shopping. 

Since the 2011 Mobile Mum study, mobile has become even more critical throughout the path to purchase, with nearly a 100% increase when using a smartphone across all aspects of the path to purchase from getting product ideas (up by 114%); to comparing prices (up by 113%); and deciding where to buy (100% increase), said researchers.

The ‘nomophobic’ mum

Both ‘nomophobia’ – the fear of being without mobile devices – and Mobile Anxiety Syndrome (MAS) are prevalent among mums as mobile devices continue to become ubiquitous, said BabyCentre. In 2013, mobile is the modern bedfellow with eight out of 10 mums saying they sleep next to their smartphone every night. Roughly the same number also say they check their phone first thing in the morning, and last thing before going to sleep.

Connected’, ‘social’ and ‘involved’ are the top three words mums associate with their smartphone, and nearly a quarter of mums say they feel ‘panicked’ when their smartphone runs out of charge. The mobile phone has now become more important than the wallet, 30% of mums would return home for their forgotten smartphone but not their purse. Additionally, of the mums surveyed, more said they would rather to go without make-up, caffeine, TV and their car rather than forgo their smartphone. 

Mobile as a parenting partner

Over half of mums regard their smartphone as an ‘essential tool’ when it comes to parenting, both in helping them adapt to becoming a parent – nearly three in five say it helps to reduce the isolation of new motherhood – and in staying organised; 41% describe their smartphone as their ‘backup brain’, the study showed.

More than ever before, mums are using mobile devices for seeking information, managing their family’s needs, and maintaining schedules, researchers showed. In the 30 days prior to taking the survey, 61% of mums reported using their smartphone for productivity, a 97% increase since 2011. In 2011, mums’ top activities were mostly about personal enjoyment (social networking, games, weather, shopping, health and fitness). Now, nearly half of mums use it for banking and finance (compared with less than one in 10 in 2011), children’s apps (28%), productivity tools such as calendars (61%), searching for information (75%), directions (54%), reading the news (60%) and shopping (49%).