The primary target market is the 3.5 million women who are pregnant each year. These woman often buy maternity clothes for themselves during their pregnancy.
The secondary target market is the over 25,000,000 people who shop for and buy collegiate clothing each year. By being made aware that collegiate maternity wear exists, they are able to purchase items as gifts for someone they know who is pregnant.
As an online store, we will focus on the portions of these market segments which are comfortable shopping online.
The two groups of people who would buy maternity clothes are pregnant woman, and those who would shop for a pregnant woman, perhaps a husband or a family member. Based on these segments, our projected sales forecast is conservatively set at less then 1% of the total potential market, as highlighted in the following table and chart.
ExpectingU.com will be in a small segment of the clothing industry called Maternity Wear. Today the U.S. maternity wear industry generates sales of over $200 million and is comprised of over 2,000 retail stores and more than 500 websites that offer maternity clothing.
Pregnant women: There are over 3.5 million women who are expecting each year. The maternity retail business has come a long way from offering dowdy, baggy style maternity clothes to those that help women celebrate their style and look great even as their body changes. Clothes offered for pregnant women in the market now include hip and stylish maternity clothing, athletic wear and corporate clothes. After all, as pregnant women’s waist lines balloon, their lives and careers go on as usual. Women, for example, who are used to attending the sporting events for their favorite team would still want to show their support by wearing a fun and comfortable logo shirt. These women will be targeted through email campaigns, online advertising and direct marketing
Shoppers for Pregnant Women: It is unknown how many people shop for someone they know that is expecting; however due to specific collegiate nature of our products, we will target those who are already shopping for collegiate wear to make them aware of our products and create gift ideas for the expectant women in their lives. We will use online advertising on existing collegiate sites to generate awareness and drive site traffic.
In this industry, customers choose their clothing based on personal preference. They often like to find items that represent their pre-pregnancy wardrobe so they can continue to keep their own style. By marketing our products to pregnant women, many are sure to connect with something as personal as their favorite sports team. It is a specialty item that will make them feel good to wear.
By positioning in the market as a specialty store, we are confident that word of mouth will help to create product awareness. Our market research shows that pregnant women today attend sporting events and often have to resort to buying men's large shirts or other make-shift clothing items. Pregnant women wearing our shirts in public will generate interest and lead to additional sales.
While there are several large maternity retailers such as Motherhood and Pea in the Pod, they all carry a mainstream line of clothes that are appealing to the masses. Due to their mass distribution model, it would not be prudent for them to carry small amounts of regional specialty items, such as collegiate shirts, at each store. Online retailers also carry a wide variety of maternity clothes, but very few carry collegiate maternity wear. Those that do offer very little variety in school representation. There is a need for a specialty web store geared for this type of apparel.