No one truly knows the life-saving power of mobile devices than the new mother. When you’re stuck on the couch for hours with a sleeping/nursing/crying baby, there are three things that fit easily in one hand: the TV remote, a phone, and a tablet (or e-reader). I became very close to all three of those things—particularly my phone—after I had my son.
And if you’re a new mother, what are you going to do with hours to kill on the couch and a smartphone? I’ll tell you what you’re going to do: you’re going to browse Pinterest (looking for Fitspo pictures to get you motivated to lose the baby weight), check Facebook every five minutes, read parenting blogs, interact with other new parents via parenting communities, and—of course—shop.
Now if you can combine some of these things—particularly the social media and commerce angles, you’ve got the perfect storm.
Now, Alt12, creator of some of the most successful apps for pregnancy, fertility, and parenting, is announcing its new social commerce platform, which will allow its users to shop for and purchase items within the app.
If you’re not familiar with Alt12, you may be familiar with some of its apps. The company launched in 2009 with its flagship pregnancy social app BabyBump. Alt12 has since released PinkPad, a women’s health social app that boasts the largest community of women trying to conceive, and Kidfolio, a social network and digital scrapbook for parents.
Now, if you’re a new parent, then you know that the search for the right baby gear is never-ending. Many new parents take to online communities like BabyBump to find out what kinds of products other parents are using, what products are completely useless, which products you can’t live without, and so on.
“Our users have told us that they discover products on our apps, but then have look elsewhere to purchase them,” CEO Jennifer Wong tells me. “Adding the social commerce platform closes the loop for them and provides them with a cohesive experience where they can both discuss and discover products, as well as purchase them in our apps.”
Wong says that the shopping experience is entirely in-app—no HTML5, no embedded Web views, no links to other retailers’ sites. Alt12 is working with over 20 brands to bring the native shopping platform to its mobile apps, allowing users to shop categories like Bath & Skin Care, Moms & Maternity, Health & Safety, and more. Users can pay by scanning their credit card using their phone’s camera or entering the number in a native keypad. They can then save their payment info for future purchases.
In addition to the new social commerce platform, Alt12 also announced the results of a recent survey of its users regarding the most wanted items for holiday gifts. The top three gifts for high tech moms include the Withings baby monitor, the DropCam, and a custom photo iPhone/iPad case.
Alt12 has seen over 6.5 million downloads of its apps and has some 1.2 million monthly active users. In February, the company raised $1.26 million.