Supermarkets need to improve their communication with mums in order to garner their loyalty, a study conducted by Mumsnet has found.

Grocers should apply a bespoke marketing approach to gain shopper traction with mums, according to the report.

The report also found there has been a “dramatic shift” from a big weekly shop to top-up shopping across a range of supermarkets. Mums visit an average of three supermarkets a week for their main shop, and 76% are smartphone users. As such supermarkets must use digital channels as well as traditional to target mums.

The findings “help illustrate how supermarkets need to communicate with mums more frequently as they cannot depend on customers loyally shopping with them once a week any more,” the report said.

The survey, which sampled responses from 1,000 Mumsnet users, found that 30% of mums regularly do their main shop at Aldi. A third of those that switched stated lower prices, better products and a better in-store experience as being the top reasons for changing. Nearly a quarter (24%) of respondents who earn between £50,000 and £69,000 shop at Aldi, falling to 21% of those who earn £70,000 to £99,000.

The research identified seven types of shopper:

  • Family Followers – 22% of Mumsnet shoppers. “The most important segment due to heavy family influence,” the report found.
  • Brand Loyalists – 7%. Prefer branded products.
  • Utterly Organised – 23%. Always use shopping lists to plan their weekly meals
  • Super Savers – 13%. Stick to lists and own-brand products
  • Bargain Buyers – 9%.
  • Own-brand Champions – 12%.
  • Spontaneous – 13%. Rarely use lists and tend to browse

Mumsnet chief executive Justine Roberts said: “Mums are still the most important consumers to supermarkets, as they are the ones who usually perform the weekly shop. But within this group shopper behaviour is rapidly changing. It’s vital for supermarkets and retailers to understand what mothers are looking for when they decide where to shop and communicate with them at relevant times in relevant ways to ensure they regularly return.”

Steve Parker, co-chief executive of Starcom MediaVest, which helped compile the data, said: “Consumers’ shopping habits are changing and we now have more control on where and how we shop than ever before. Supermarkets can no longer depend upon loyalty and instead, each must make sure it is central to mums’ shopping repertoire and push messaging at every relevant touch point along mums’ consumer journey.

“By looking at the different behaviours of mums, supermarkets can identify the best way to engage each group and offer them the best experience and in turn, rebuild the supermarket’s central purpose within mums’ routine.”