Australia’s online parenting market is becoming increasingly competitive for start-ups, with new research revealing the majority of sites in the industry selling local products instead of importing from overseas.
In a bid to provide content for its online catalogue, tech company myAppalogues approached more than 700 baby and children websites. It then reviewed the sites to determine where the items are made.
myAppalogues, profiled last month by Startup Smart, offers a one-stop-shop of aggregated products in niche markets via apps. It was founded by Kern Wyman and Jillian Manly, along with two other partners.
“We focused our reviews on Australian companies selling to kids and mums, and found about 60% of these sold a select number of their own branded products in particular segments,” Manly says.
“The remainder were companies that held licenses to international products or were retail storefronts selling anywhere from 10 to over 100 brands of products.”
“We avoided web aggregators, department store products and blogs, so what is left is a unique set of… often-hard-to-find businesses and products for babies, children and their parents.”
Manly says the strong market for Australian-made children’s items is good news for the economy. It also suggests there are opportunities for start-ups to cash in on the trend.
“This industry could very well be holding up Australia’s economy,” she says.
The online parenting market is beginning to attract more attention as homegrown success stories come to the fore, namely the acquisition of online parenting start-up Kidspot.
Kidspot, a portfolio of online and offline services aimed at women and mothers, was launched in 2005 by chief executive Katie May.
Last month, it was acquired by News Limited. While the media giant would not say how much it paid for Kidspot, reports suggest it could be close to $50 million.
The acquisition highlights the increasing demand for child-focused services, particularly among working parents who are typically cashed-up yet time-poor.
Mandi Gunsberger, founder of parent and baby lifestyle site Babyology, says there is a huge demand for tailored offerings within the market.
“We try to stick to our niche of reviewing products and try not to do any other type of parenting topics on the site… Research your idea thoroughly and work out your point of difference,” she says.