Mothers in Thailand’s Second Tier Cities Are Strong Contributors to Ecommerce Growth

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In light of Mother’s Day on May 14th, marketing agency Mindshare (Thailand) released a study on mothers in Thailand and their everyday consumption habits, both offline and online. The survey focused solely on mothers who reside outside of Bangkok in second tier cities in hopes to help marketers better understand what mothers require for everyday products such as groceries and FMCG goods.

The women surveyed reside in Naan, Choomporn and Buriram provinces in Thailand and come from low income households, earning approximately $300 – $1,400 per month. 65% of Thailand’s population resides in second tier cities, making them a large potential target group for marketers and brands.

The qualitative research looked at three groups:

  1. Mothers with infants from 0-3 years old
  2. Mothers with children from 3-6 years old
  3. Mothers with children 6-12 years old

And these were the results:

A rise of internet savvy mothers

  • Modern mothers are receptive to the internet and are willing to browse different websites to get advice on child rearing
  • Modern mothers often browse on Facebook and engage in online discussions about child rearing
  • Modern mothers are turning to ecommerce in second tier cities
  • Money and finances are at the heart of their purchasing decisions. Mothers in second tier cities often sacrifice their own needs to spend more on their children and treasure moments such as celebratory dinners outside the home
  • To access the internet, most mothers activate Wifi hotspot from their mobile phones, as this makes it easier to monitor internet usage and budget finances

The role of technology in everyday life

  • The internet is a new mother’s best friend, especially during the adjustment period where her life and schedule are changing. Brands can target mothers through Facebook groups, especially as there is a vast network of Thai mothers that are often exchanging tips and looking for a support system online.

Although they are open to purchasing online, mothers still believe in the importance of touching products before buying. For young mothers, reading the product label, smelling and even tasting products is not uncommon.

Communities play a key role in decision making

  • Mothers in second tier cities often look to other mothers in their community, not celebrities, as they are more relatable. This is another interesting marketing tactic for brands because targeting community mothers requires a lighter marketing budget than celebrity endorsements.
  • Brand loyalty can be achieved through seeing other mothers in the community use a particular product. This is especially true for mothers with young infants.

Brands use a steady flow of insightful, interactive content to strengthen the mother’s connection with the brand and build brand loyalty and trust.

A good example is Nestlé, that often publish family centric content on its multiple Facebook pages to connect with its primary consumer – mothers.

Source: Nestlé Baby Thailand Facebook page

Source: Nestlé Baby Thailand Facebook page

Discounts and promotions incentivize spending

  • Most mothers would choose quality over price for their children
  • Flyers, discount advertising and promotions are important in the decision process.

Ecommerce in second tier cities is still in its infancy, but its adoption is showing promise. Mothers often go online to find products that aren’t available in their province, or for when they want to ‘show off’ by having their child use something that other community mothers do not have.

Although ecommerce is not yet widely popular among mothers in second tier cities across Thailand, it is slowly becoming a part of everyday life. Thai mothers are reliant on social media channels such as Facebook and LINE to find products unavailable in their towns, and online shopping seems to be the next natural step.

Find more insights published on MarketingOops. Read the original version in Thai here.