In 2016, Millennials accounted for 82% of women becoming mothers, and more than a million Millennial women have given birth each year since then. And, though some Millennials grapple with whether to enter into motherhood, one thing most new Millennial parents are sure of when they take the plunge is wanting cool tech to help raise their kids. Whether it’s supportive “mommy” websites, gadgets that help little ones sleep or subscriptions that deliver peak nutrition to the door, Millennials want technology at the ready.
Robin Raskin, who runs the BabyTECH Summit at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) said, “We wanted to shine a light on new Millennial parents, who were data-driven and wanted information on everything. A lot of the [babytech] products are things to make parenting easier, but also anything to keep the baby healthy.” Hitting the sweet spot between safety, wellness and ease of use is where babytech, a multimillion dollar industry and growing, resonates for new parents.
All Gadgets Are Welcome If They Help The Baby Sleep
Babylist, a universal registry that allows parents to merge all their wants and needs from stores across the internet, has always looked for the latest babytech when curating lists and creating content for new parents. “Everything [at Babylist] is to serve and help pregnant women and expectant families from all income levels across the entire life stage,” said Babylist founder Natalie Gordon. “We can see all that is happening across all retailers. So we add products — most are direct-to-consumer brands — and people who want those technology or innovative products are often early adopters.”
Technology that helps baby sleep through the night is particularly popular with parents. Like with smart homes, technology that connects with users’ phones, offering seamless connections is preferred for babytech. For example, the Owlet monitor allows parents to see and hear their babies while also monitoring heart rate, oxygen levels and room temperature. With the Owlet monitor, parents can also track how long and how well their babies slept, which can be beneficial for sleep scheduling. Similarly helpful for sleep-deprived parents, the Hatch Rest sleep machine for babies and kids offers a sound machine, night light and time-to-rise cue. Everything is managed from mom and dad’s smartphones, so baby is never disturbed while sleeping.
Subscription Marketing Is Effective For Promoting Healthy Eating Options for Babies And Kids
Square Foods founder Katie Thomson, like many babytech entrepreneurs, started her business when she had her own child and wasn’t satisfied with the babytech options available. A registered dietitian, Thomson wasn’t pleased with the meals she found targeted to kids, which inspired her to start Square Baby. “We really focused on building our customer trust so that our square meals were based on nutrition science, not just marketing and lip service,” said Thomson. Square Baby offers customizable purees for babies, based on preferences like dietary needs, allergies and taste. Like many startups Square Baby is a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, offering subscription meal plans that ship meals every two weeks.
For older kids, and offering an educational component, Radish is a subscription kit that encourages parents and kids to cook together. Started by educator Samantha Barnes, Radish was originally Kitchen Kid, a summer camp and afterschool program, but the program was adapted to become Radish, a cooking club and curriculum sent directly to customers. Subscribers receive recipes, kitchen tools, collectibles and more in each kit, along with grocery lists for food required to make the recipes. Subscriptions continue to grow in popularity, especially for kids, creating a market for brands like Radish, especially while more people are sticking close to home.
Social Media Networks Help Parents Navigate Ups And Downs And Offer Support
From iVillage to UrbanBaby, parents have long sought the advice of the internet for everything from colic to playground etiquette. But, like all things online, the options have gotten better, more sophisticated and more useful. Peanut, a UK-based social media platform for moms, recently closed $12 million in funding and added 1.6 million new users since creating a “Trying to Conceive” community tab last fall. Peanut is more than a chat room, it also offers an intuitive app connecting moms for meetups or virtual chats, affinity groups for like-minded moms and an online store. Designed to reduce feelings of isolation, Peanut wants to increase connections for mothers through the digital world.
Babytech, or familytech as kids get older, is a growing industry that appeals to the high standards of Millennial parents and the preferences many consumers have for frictionless, one-tap solutions. Digital marketers interested in optimizing marketing strategies that target this savvy audience should consider Millennial parents’ preferences for DTC and subscriptions, comfort with existing technologies like smart solutions and interest in health and wellness, especially for their babies.
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