As Indonesia battles a second wave of COVID-191 cases this month, the government has tightened micro-scale public activity restrictions (PPKM) in red-zone areas, including the capital Jakarta and numerous regions across the archipelago. The tightened regulations2 signify that offices, restaurants and malls must operate at 25 percent capacity, touristic sites to close and schools to resume online classes. However, more recently the nation faces renewed calls3 to impose a nationwide lockdown, which may transcend to more extensive physical distancing measures and pleas for the population to stay at home.
Layoffs, salary reductions, and other employment downturns during the pandemic have inevitably threatened a family's livelihood and breadwinning abilities. While the role is traditionally undertaken by the male figure in the household, mothers in Indonesia have stepped up to provide for the family by setting out ways to keep the family finances afloat.4 It appears that this was no longer a role that mothers in metropolitan cities are entirely strangers to, as in 2018 alone, 45,55% of housewives in the capital city Jakarta are breadwinners of their families.5 Mothers who embark on various forms of businesses to generate household income are commonly termed ‘mompreneurs’.
Apart from tending the household on the daily, the closing of physical schools also add more childminding time within a mother's day-to-day responsibilities. A survey in August 2020 by parenting platform Orami among stay-at-home and working mothers, as well as mompreneurs indicate that mothers generally face the challenges of balancing family, personal well-being and work. The domestic burden typically increases with more family members present at home 24/7.
In the case of mompreneurs, while 32% reported to have experienced a drastic decline in their business turnover, 24% indicated no significant impact to their business and only 3% have to close their operation. Moreover, about 16% expressed the need to undergo a business pivot in order to survive, whereas 15% stated the ability to experience exponential growth. These insights further illustrate the essential roles held by mompreneurs to ensure the economic survival of the family, especially amid COVID-19 uncertainties.
Mom & Baby category: A promising market in the online horizon
While the pandemic has made many consumers reprioritise spending, babycare and family health is a strong focus for mothers.7 With improved education, middle-class, millennial parents are more aware of baby health and hygiene, which has led to shifts in consumption patterns on top of increased spending on baby products.8 Many key factors play an influence in determining a mother’s buying decision, including price, delivery fee, customer service all the way to the health protocols and hygiene standards applied by the concerning business (see below).
In fact, being engaged in the online platform not only offers a means of convenience for mothers, but also serves as a marketplace for the community it builds. The next generation of Indonesian mothers proves to be highly-connected. According to Kantar’s research in 2020,9 almost a quarter of new mothers access social media every day, many of which create a support system to nurture a new sense of belonging.
Paving the way for mompreneurs
In many developed nations, mompreneurs gather to form communities to push and motivate one another (Duberley dan Carrigan, 2012).10 Such forms of community hold a significant importance for mompreneurs, particularly in terms of information and technology exchange, as it allows them to expand their market reach and network.11 In the context of Indonesia, Minister for Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises, Teten Masduki asserted that the nation’s current digital economy development offers opportunity and access for mompreneurs to compete in the business field, where their roles have become even more dominant in the domestic sector.12
There’s a rise of mompreneurs who are starting their social commerce business right from home, leveraging their community to sell products of often well-known brands. The presence of community-based programs such as that of Ibu Sibuk allows mothers to be product resellers within the Mom & Baby category, while enrolling in mentorship activities to nurture their business and leadership skills with a starting capital. Especially as consumers continue to face uncertainties caused by the pandemic, enterprise brands have the option to shift their brick and mortar stores and optimise on the expertise of mompreneurs, backed by the power of their community.
Aside from social commerce, mompreneurs in Indonesia have taken inspiration from their everyday challenges as mothers to build their own business with a promising voice. Take it from Maya Rosmalinda, Owner of Mamayaya.Project; a home-made business that creates handmade apparels for babies and home living. Inspired from her own daily needs and living, Maya views her business as a space for creativity and to push for self-improvement, while aspiring to be a brand that answers everyday needs of mothers. As she initially began as a home-based business, building a website through SIRCLO Store meant that Maya was required to have more capital at the start. However, she soon discovered that establishing an online presence did wonders for her business’ branding.
Meanwhile, Boho Baby and Mooshess Baby were founded by mompreneurs who saw the need to fulfill a big market for expecting mothers. Coming from her own experience of not finding baby attires that suited her taste, Devy Natalia, Co-owner of Boho Baby, decided to create her own brand to offer baby and toddler clothes with soft, warm tones. As for Princess Lie, CEO of Mooshess Baby, the idea of building a business specialising in rattan baby furniture emerged from her own struggle of finding one when she was expecting her first born. After seeking a local craftsman to customize her needs, she quickly saw a market potential for good-quality rattan-made furniture for babies and decided to sell her products to the masses.
To Devy, establishing her brand.com through SIRCLO Store enables her to set up a platform that allows for easy categorization of products, as well as blog or article publications. Boho Baby’s strategy to launch its own webstore has proven to be effective; as of today, the brand ships its products all around Europe, with a large base of followers in Spain. Mooshes Baby, founded in late 2019, has already sold its collection of rattan baby beds across multiple online-selling platforms to its market-base in Indonesia and Singapore.
In closing, the pandemic has undeniably brought new challenges for mothers, which translate into a new set of behaviour and preferences. With the rise of mothers who provide for families and in turn, highly value convenience, it is key to listen to their needs and motivation; as the opportunities for growth lie for brands capable of delivering the right values for them. This includes a satisfying and trustworthy digital experience, as shoppers today have more access to information to make informed purchasing decisions—often from the community or network they are a part of.
As a one-stop solution for brands to sell online, it is our mission to empower entrepreneurs and enterprises alike to grow and seize the e-commerce potential of the nation. Whether you are a mompreneur or brand, do not hesitate to reach out to us and learn more.
SIRCLO neither provides regulated advice nor guarantee results. The materials we convey reflect general insight and best practice based on information currently available, and do not contain all of the information needed to determine a future course of action. Such information has not been generated or independently verified by SIRCLO and is inherently uncertain and subject to change. SIRCLO has no obligation to update these materials and makes no representation or warranty and expressly disclaims any liability with respect thereto.