Mothercare.com launched in the UK in September, offering online shopping, advice and interaction with other parents. The site also offers a gift ordering and delivery service, and aims to provide parents with a support network and the goods and services available in Mothercare stores.
Site characteristics: The site was designed by Identica and runs on BroadVision's One-to-One applications software. It's fairly easy to use and offers a clear selection of options and areas within the site. It's rather text heavy, in bland pastel shades.
Target demographics: The site is aimed at parents,covering pre-conception to pre-school, and offers a wide range of services and a chance to chat online.
Principals: The director of mothercare.com is Patty Diamond of Mothercare Direct.
Backers: Funded by Mothercare.
Marketing: The launch of the site was supported by an above-the-line advertising campaign by Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, which ran in the national press, consumer magazines and on poster site advertising. Duckworth Finn recently resigned the account and a new agency is to be appointed.
Competition: There are many other competitors in this market, all offering advice and shopping services to new parents. Mothercare.com is at an advantage because Mothercare is a well-established brand in the high street. There is also a strong relationship between the website and the stores - items bought through the site can be returned to any of its shops.
THE YEAR AHEAD - Excellent prospects
A late entrant into an already overcrowded market. However, as Mothercare is already an established high-street brand, the future looks secure.