Moms Searching in a 21st-Century World


Throughout American history, Moms have always searched for what they need. Moms searching for clothes first traveled to markets, then scanned mail-order catalogs, made trips to the mall, and now order apparel online. Gift-giving moms have gone holiday- hunting for Lincoln Logs, pogo-sticks, hula hoops, Frisbees, Power Rangers, Tickle Me Elmos, Furbys and Nintendo Wii consoles. Music-minded moms once sought vinyl records before moving on to 8-tracks, cassette tapes, Cds and iPods. In short, moms have always expended energy to search for the people, places and things that will make their lives easier and fulfill their families’ needs. However, a fundamental shift has occurred in the way moms search. The world has evolved over the last 30 years. In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President, the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics, and people clamored to find out who shot J.R. after the Dallas cliffhanger. The world was a busy place, and moms back then were using a variety of means to search for products. Mom would start her search with family and friends. She would call them on the phone or visit their homes and talk about the different products they were using. Then, she would drive to a variety of stores — Sears, Service Merchandise, JCPenney — where she would see three to six models in the store, get technical information from the sales person on staff, and potentially buy the product right there.

Moms in 1980 could also use catalogs. Once Mom had chosen her product, she would either call or mail her order to the company. Upon arrival, the package would be ready for pickup at a nearby store. Overall, the time between placing and receiving an order would range from two weeks to a month!

Fast forward to 2010, when the way moms search is much different. Today, moms begin their searches for products on the Internet. They use search engines to find the precise products they need. Instead of discovering only a few products, they can review hundreds if not thousands of options from brands around the world.

Moms look at technical aspects, get expert advice from consumer reporting websites, and see how others like the product on ratings and review sites. Moms talk with their friends on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, which give feedback instantaneously. She can do all of this on her lunch hour, and instead of traveling to the store, the product can be delivered to her house in a matter of hours.

Additionally, moms are no longer tied to the house when going through this purchase process. In 2010, Mom can search for products anywhere at anytime. Utilizing Wi-fi and mobile devices, such as her laptop, smartphone or iPad, she can sit at a ballgame, dance practice or on a beach and search for what she needs.

Indeed, moms still search for what they need — perhaps more efficiently than ever. There’s so much information, so many product reviews, and so much consumer feedback — all accessible whenever her schedule is ready for it. yes, moms still search, and technology has made the search easier, faster, and more comprehensive with more options.