IAB SA reveals how online consumers experience parenthood

The IAB SA’s latest online poll has revealed fascinating insights about the impact of becoming a parent on the lifestyle and consumption habits of South Africa’s online consumers.

The overwhelming finding was the significant change in lifestyle parents undergo after having a child. In terms of finances, 85% of poll respondents say that having a child made them reassess their financial needs, and relook at how they spend their money. This change in lifestyle extends to their driving habits, with 76% more concerned with car safety and 49% reassessing what car they drive. It was even felt in their diet, with 75% saying that their children influence what food they buy.

Education is a priority for IAB poll respondents. 95% of participants say they want their children to have a tertiary education, with 70% already saving for this. A sobering 57% believe they can afford a tertiary education for their children.

Parents’ attitudes to screentime were also fascinating. A significant 34% of IAB poll respondents had bought their child a computer or laptop and a further 34% said they would probably be buying one soon.   32% had bought their child a smartphone with an additional 29% having an intent to buy in the near future., .According to the poll, 33% of parents have bought their children their own gaming consoles or flat screen televisions respectively

This investment in devices does come with clear boundaries and a will to use a variety of channels to educate and upskill children. 89% of parents actively manage what content their children consume, and 95% appreciate content that has a educational focus. There are definitely concerns around content, with 87% worrying about the content children are exposed to on TV and online.

Josephine Buys, CEO of IAB SA says, “We understand the power that digital has to help parents access information, entertain or get their shopping done. The parent poll identifies the challenges that parents are facing and, in doing so, provides an opportunity for marketers to find ways to address them using digital.”

85% of parents felt that accessing the internet on their mobile is a lifesaver, and 75% said it was more convenient, which speaks to the undeniable shift towards more mobile-friendly media. All parents appreciated a wide variety of online content on parenting.

Gustav Goosen, head of IAB Research says, “The poll emphasizes the importance of good content with over 90% of respondents saying that appreciate content that gives advice on parenting, and in an increasingly time strapped lifestyle breaking this content down into useful tips and step by step demonstrations is extremely popular amongst these parent poll respondents”

Josephine concludes, “This is the seventh market-specific poll released by IAB in partnership with our measurement partner Narratiive and provide great snapshot insight into the thoughts and behaviors of South Africa’s online consumers. We are really excited about the value these polls add to our members, and believe they bring valuable insight as to why IAB member sites do so well.”

  • Sub-Saharan Africa