Baby Products Buck Consumer Trade Down Trend

Brands and merchants may benefit by catering to caregivers’ mindset of seeking consistent reliability in baby products.

Parents, family members and other caregivers of young children know that if a given product works for little ones, it usually should not be changed. Applicable to nearly any baby-related product from socks to shampoo, this tendency is followed by some parents and others to almost superstitious levels, as consistency is often key to a smooth day. With all the other stressors and concerns that come with child-rearing, adding variability to the reliability (or child-approval) of baby-related products may be one best avoided.

Anyone who has followed this logic may not be surprised by survey results in PYMNTS’ May “Consumer Sentiment Report.”

Downgrading to cut costs

Consumers are buying cheaper products across the board to cope with inflation, yet baby supplies rank decisively last by consumers as products for which they are willing to trade down retailers. After all, while older children and adults may “make do” with private-label beauty items or knock-off clothes, the same can’t be said for newborns and infants, who will voice their displeasure — loudly.

Such loyalty is quite significant, as few items have been exempted from the general consumer behavioral shift toward cost-cutting in the current economic landscape. For example, 73% of families have decreased their grocery spend, and consumers overall have cut back on all but the essentials and rethought where they choose to shop.

Consumers are hesitant to attach the same constraints to baby items. Businesses in this sector may thus have the benefit of “baked-in” loyalty if they can keep customers satisfied. Organizations large and small are learning to reap the benefits of brand trust, including for items that have otherwise seen significant consumer trade-downs. This drive even extends to the beleaguered subscription space, where some baby food providers are thriving.

Brands and merchants able to “hook” parents and other caregivers may have a loyalty advantage over other retail sectors. Leveraging this could help baby-related businesses increase profits and revenue, even in this shaky economic time.

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