Parenting is hard. Shopping with children who do nothing but scream and yell while you are shopping, that makes it even harder. What does that mean for you, the shop owner? That means less money in your pocket!
Let’s face it, catering to parents is a win-win for your business and for the parents. They get a moment to breathe, think, and shop. They have more time to shop your shelves, spend more time in your store, and are more likely to fall into impulse buys, because they are not in a hurry to get out. Happy parents are not going to be the next ‘grab-and-go’ shopper. They are also more likely to return.
Less than 25% of shoppers actually enjoy the shopping experience found in a brick and mortar shop (via V12). That is your average shopper. Imagine how it feels to have children shopping with you.
So, what can you do? To increase your sales, you need to make your customer’s happy. In this case, let’s start with mom’s and dad’s!
Making parent’s happy is not hard. While it will take a little investment, the reward is worth it. Here are 2 ideas that may enhance business for you:
- Interactive shopping/shopping carts.
- Daycare areas.
On occasion I have noted special carts for kids. At one time, there was a store that actually offered a cart that cost $1. Toddlers were able to sit in a special area built into the cart, while watching cartoons. Mom and dad could shop, while the toddler pretended to drive their car shaped entertainment center. It was a brilliant, although pricey for parents, way to entertain a young child. That does not mean it is ineffective. Far from the truth.
Expanding on the idea to eliminate parent cost, yet adding a slightly raised cost to the products you offer, would make parents happier. It would cushion your bottom line enough to make up for the added cost. Chances are your store would make a lot more money by offering a quality product for a few cents more, than it would from charging parents money to use the special carts.
Weigh the pro’s and con’s against the cost to you. Keep in mind, people prefer free over being charged outright for a service. What applies to the cost of shipping online can also apply here. You may make your money back through renting these special carts, but you will not see happy customers if they feel they are required to pay for the luxury to shop in silence.
While it is not a viable option in smaller areas, the resurgence of daycares in large stores or shopping centers is a must!
Daycares are an amazing way to show your customer’s that you care, and want them to shop in comfort. Suddenly it begins to feel more like they left the kids at home, and they are able to take their time. They can finally slow down to see what you have to offer. They can try samples, learn about products, and invest in the options you have to offer without feeling rushed.
Daycares are often limited to shopping centers with a multitude of stores. However, it can be a viable option if you already run a large scale store. They often also appear in gyms and smaller businesses with parent-only needs. Setting daycare hours can also help save your company some money. Limiting the amount of time spent on paying for a childcare worker to stay in store, but making sure it is available during peak hours can help you and parents.
Easing the shopping experience for your customer base is important, and parents are a large portion of that industry. Make them happy, and you will in turn reap the financial benefits.