Germans spend an average of 3140 euros on outfitting their newborn babies. This is an increase of 5.5 percent compared to 2014, a business with great potential for the retail sector. The big players show how clever marketing can attract the attention of expectant parents or grandparents.

The list is almost endless: The layette for a new earth citizen includes anoraks, babygrows and rompers to bathing thermometers, towels and washcloths to bottles, pacifiers, child seats and strollers. The Institute for Retail Research IFH Köln has identified around 70 different product categories that end up in the average shopping basket for a newborn baby.

Stroller as a status symbol

The good economic development and the relatives, who like to participate financially, are responsible for the increasing sales: “If you have a secure job, you tend to start a family and also want more children. And if both mother and father work thanks to childcare, more money is available for clothes and accessories for baby and child. Grandparents, aunts and uncles are of course important sponsors of every young family,” says Steffen Kahnt, Deputy Managing Director of the German Toy Trade Association (BVS). A real status symbol is the stroller, which is often subsidized by future grandparents. “For many parents, having children today is a project for which they also want the right “vehicle”. The purchase of a strollers often a pleasure for the young couple. And anyone who then finds a model in the individual design of his or her choice will sometimes accept longer waiting times,” says Kahnt. According to market research company GfK, the proportion of 2-in-1 strollers without accessories almost doubled in the first half of 2017 compared with the first half of 2015.

The retailer’s shopping lists facilitate the product search

To make shopping as comfortable as possible for parents-to-be, many retailers have set up special departments, sections or offers for newborns. For example, the web shops of babywalz and zalando have their own category “Layette”. From baby socks, backpacks, mittens and children’s clothing to products for personal hygiene, breastfeeding, changing diapers and feeding – always combined with a shopping recommendation list. In stationary shops, the right products are practically next to each other in these departments.

Amazon and manufacturers focus on free offers for young parents

Dealers specifically use free offers or loyalty programs to arouse the curiosity and loyalty of young fathers and mothers. Amazon launched the free Baby Box for Prime customers last September. These tasting packages contain eleven products from manufacturers such as Hipp, Munchkin or NUK – including pacifiers, wet wipes, bottles, spoons, comforters and a night light. 10,000 of these boxes will be issued – as long as stocks last – if items worth at least 35 euros have been purchased from the amazon customer’s baby wish list. This is how parents are made aware of new products: “Choosing the right baby products is often a challenge. The free Amazon Baby Box now helps expectant and new parents to find the right products for their little darling,” says the industry giant.

Special services and bonus programs from dm and Rossmann

Drugstore items are permanently needed during pregnancy and after childbirth. dm and Rossmann have bonus offers for expectant parents and young families with glückskind and babywelt. With discount coupons, competitions and information they try to win fathers and mothers over and to make them buy baby products from them. dm relies on further services: Changing tables have been available in all markets for a long time. In 2017, the Group also expanded its nursing product range and combined it into a nursing shelf in 1,200 stores in Germany. This year, dm goes one step further. By May, the company will be setting up nursing corners in more than 100 stores throughout Germany – eye-catching and practically located right next to the nursing shelves.

In fashion: baby showers even before birth

There is a trend from the USA with which retailers can generate sales even before birth: baby showers. Here the expectant mother is the center of attention and is celebrated by her friends and relatives. What is needed are matching decorations in the colors of the sexes, rose or blue, gifts for the mother-to-be such as diaper cakes and the like and practical games such as painting rompers with textile colors.

When googling for this trend one at first finds the online shop of Katharina Mueller. She recognized this promising segment early on and now offers a comprehensive range: “Baby showers are becoming increasingly popular in Germany. About eight years ago, I wanted to organize a baby party for my sister-in-law so that she could really be pampered before the birth – with massage vouchers and treats – and was surprised to discover that it is almost impossible to obtain beautiful decoration and accessories for the celebration in Germany,” said the founder and managing director. Müller continues: “The idea of opening our online shop was born out of this experience. Now, eight years later, we have (almost) everything the mom-to-be heart desires and the range is growing daily. The fact that people in German-speaking countries have enjoyed baby showers and that many expectant mothers take them for granted to be part of a beautiful, eventful pregnancy, which we like to remember, is not only evident from the number of hits we have but also from the fact that this topic is omnipresent in the media and also in competing retail outlets. Of course, the American model also shows its effect – we always notice this when a baby shower was celebrated in popular TV formats or a US celebrity just had his or her Gender Reveal Party – with a little delay we also the rising accesses”.


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Image: Amazon, Baby Belly Party