Baby Social Forum 2018 Recap
Oh, Baby! What first and second time moms want and how they shop was the topic of the day at the Soapbox Baby Forum on October 11. The event – hosted in conjunction with the Walmart Baby department’s Spark of Innovation Day on October 12 – brought suppliers and buyers together to hear directly from expectant and new moms about their preferences, pain points and delights tied to buying baby products.VP/DMM for Baby Diana Marshall kicked off the session with a reminder that we have 11,000 opportunities every day – thanks to 11,000 babies born every day – to reach parents and help make their lives simpler. Marshall – who will soon transition to Sporting Goods, with the VP/DMM role for Baby backfilled by Melody Richard of Coca-Cola – also commented on meeting the expectations and unmet needs of today’s parents and the importance of online tactics for reaching Mom.Suppliers discussed picking up market share and filling the gaps left from the Babies “R” Us exodus as well as opportunities to improve registry convenience and adoption, while mom panelists emphasized the impact of Instagram, baby blogs and Facebook groups on their quest for product information.The Soapbox team shared findings and verbatims from a qualitative assessment of 255 moms across 41 U.S. states (16% expecting, 74% with children 0 – 2 years old, 85% frequent or regular Walmart shoppers, 70% shopping regularly at Walmart for baby supplies), illustrating the importance of price and safety features and the prevalence of online shopping for baby gear, diapers and wipes.An abbreviated social intelligence report was also shared with attendees, highlighting the opportunity for brands to take advantage of social listening as a tool for category management and buying decisions. Social listening – the practice of monitoring organic, everyday online chatter around a certain topic, category, retailer or SKU – allows retailers and suppliers to proactively identify trends, emerging product interest and upward ticks in conversation around specific topics. Social listening can be activated cost effectively for a short window to assess product interest, analyze the competitive landscape or monitor brand or retailer share of voice… or it can create an ongoing cadence of immediately actionable information to share with merchants.