Are You Creating Barriers for Your Customers?

Now that I am a new Mom I have a new found appreciation for the layout of stores, particularly the accessibility (or lack there of) of different stores when I am out with my girls in their stroller. It blows my mind how some retailers completely overlook how their store layout can affect their customers shopping experience (or for that matter, the ability for their customers to shop in their store period).
Are you creating barriers for your customers? Here are some things to think about when reviewing your store layout and design

  1. Can your customers easily get INTO your store? Is the door wide enough? Do you have displays cluttering the entrance? What barriers are there for your customer to enter the store? Again, my mind was blown away that there was a local toy store near my house that had stairs at the entrance way and no ramp for strollers… are we just supposed to park the kids on the sidewalk and shop in your store? Or better yet, bench-press our stroller up four steps? (this is what I ended up doing as my four year old saw something in the window but I didn’t even get any assistance from the staff member who stared at me during my weightlifting feat)… Needless to say, that store didn’t get my money, or that of many other moms and as a result it didn’t last very long.
  2. Do you have enough SPACE between fixtures? You would be surprised how many stores I have to fight to get through with my stroller and what is more shocking – many of these stores are baby & kid stores! Here’s a note – if your ideal customer is likely to be a new mom, make it easy for them to shop in your store. (If you have too much stock that you have to jam a ton of fixtures in your store, we need to talk about our merchandise planning services as chances are you are WAY over inventoried).
  3. What can you do to KEEP customers in your store? If you are a kids shop, doesn’t it make sense to have a corner where children can play so mommy can shop? What can you do to keep the kids entertained giving mom more time (a rare commodity) to look around? Have stickers handy? A coloring page? It’s the little things that can buy time for mommy to shop AND increase your sales.

You may not be a kids store and mom’s with stroller may not be your target market (but they are a BIG market for most as new mom’s are just trying to find things to do to get out of the house – and shopping is generally one of them!) but step back and think about what you may be doing that is limiting the ability for your target customers to shop in your store. How can you remove those barriers?
Love, a Frustrated Mom