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Survey: Moms still make most household purchase decisions

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New York – Although dads are making inroads, moms still dominate purchase decisions in most U.S, households. According to a September 2013 survey by Child's Play Communications, moms remain the major household purchasing decision maker in about 80% of families.

Other notable findings include:

  • Moms are responsible for the majority of household purchase decisions, about two-thirds. This is notable because it contrasts with the long-held belief that moms are responsible for about 80% of household purchasing decisions, an indication that dads are getting more involved.
  • Dads continue to dominate decision making in what might be considered traditionally "male" categories. 55.3% of moms and 62.2% of dads said that dad was entirely responsible for buying decisions related to home repair and 50% of moms and 57.0% of dads said dad had sole responsibility for lawn & garden. Meanwhile, roughly a third or more said dads handle all decision making for automobiles (38.4% of moms, 48.6% of dads) and technology (31.8% of moms, 35.1% of dads). The percentages remained similar when families were asked what dads were "primarily" vs. "entirely" responsible for.
  • Moms, however, dominated purchasing decisions for children's products. In fact, dad's role here was noticeably minimal. Moms said that only 1.1% of dads were entirely responsible for buying children's toys and clothes and dads were in close agreement, claiming sole responsibility for 2.2% of toy purchases and 1.2% of children's clothes.
  • The balance improved when families were asked where they shared responsibility equally. The four categories that ranked significantly higher than others among both moms and dads were home furnishings (51.0% of moms and 46.0% of dads said decision making here was shared equally), family travel (51% and 46.6%), family entertainment (43.2% and 43.1%) and appliances (41.4% and 36.2%).   

"Dads are becoming the "new 'new' thing" in marketing to parents," said Azzarone. "Our study clearly shows where dads are key decision makers today and where they still play minor roles, so that brands can make wise choices when allocating their marketing dollars."


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