Written by Sarah Hoban

There’s nothing new about mothers and daughters shopping together. But the Wall Street Journal reports that some retailers are actively encouraging the multigenerational-shopping trips by marketing on social network sites and making it easier for moms and daughters to share product information on such sites. 

What’s behind the current interest in mother-daughter customers? The Journal points to busy family time: Shopping is one way the two generations can spend time together. And it’s not just kids—as more grown children move back in with parents, they’re more likely to shop with their mom as well. Many retailers, such as Sears, target mother-daughter pairs for e-mail coupons, and also post photos of merchandise on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so that daughters can share with their mothers.

Can it pay off? One retailer highlighted was a boutique in Wilton, Connecticut, that stocked items aimed at a range of age groups. Its owners told the newspaper that mothers and daughters who shopped together tended to spend more time in the store when they were together than when they were alone.