Understanding someone’s behavior is a key to success for any relationship, and retail is no exception. My goal with this column is to help retailers understand a little bit about why I, a young mother in my first home, buy the things I do, and also to highlight some of the things that make a difference in where I shop.
The search for a bed
My two-year-old daughter Elsie is always on the forefront of my mind. How can I give her the best life possible? How can I support her in every area she needs? These thoughts include big goals — such as saving for college — but they also include more immediate goals, such as creating the perfect bedroom for my growing toddler.
Elsie is going through a big developmental stage right now that brings on the necessity of switching from a crib to a bed. I know what I want, and I see it clearly in my head, but I just have not come across it yet.
I am adamant about using a daybed in Elsie’s room, because it has more sides for safety, and it is functional during the day and night. I envision a beautiful, velvet scallop or channel-tufted frame with a trundle underneath, but I’d also be interested in a white caned-back daybed with white wood framing. The two styles are completely different, but I think If I saw them in person I’d know exactly which one to take home. But it’s not that easy to get me into a store these days.
So what are the sure-fire ways to get me to walk through the door?
- Instagram! I can’t express enough how important of a platform Instagram is, but it needs to be used correctly. I can confidently say that for the past few years, I have solely made purchases and found new retailers from Instagram (I literally have two stores I plan to visit this weekend because I saw an influencer post about them on Instagram).
To catch my attention, your Instagram needs to be current and showcase enticing and clean images that display your product offerings well. I also love to see up close-up product shots and details in Instagram stories. Do you have a product on sale? Throw it on your Instagram story! I have made countless purchases lately from Instagram stories.
I also want to be able to purchase through the platform. I often reply directly back to the story that I’d like to purchase the item; they call me, and I make the purchase by phone, pick it up later or have it shipped. Convenience is key, but so is that instant gratification.
- Experience. I am a Gymboree baby! I remember that experience still to this day. I couldn’t wait to go shopping with my mom if we were going to Gymboree. I want that same experience for my daughter.
Make your store (or a portion of your store) friendly to kids. Set up a section with puzzles, books and/or toys. I guarantee the customer will spend more money if the child is content and the mother or father is able to browse longer. I also don’t want to feel as if my child is a burden or in the way, and please don’t follow me around; I promise I’ll find you if I need help. Elsie loves to shop, and I want to take her with me! A good experience will keep us loyal!
- Communication. Please don’t spam my phone with texts and emails. If you are going to reach out, make it personable. Remember birthdays, remember the brands we love, and reach out when there are new items that you know the customer loves.
Generic emails flood our inbox every day; make communication specific to the customer, stand out. For example, I only use a certain brand of bodywash for my daughter, and the retailer I purchase it from knows that, so it reaches out to let me know when new products debut from that brand, and guess what? I buy those items almost every time!
The way consumers shop has changed drastically over the years, and it’s important that retailers listen, evolve and cater to its customers’ desires. Although shopping patterns have changed, social media has made it easy and more accessible to sell in other ways than in-person.
I am still on the hunt for that perfect bed for Elsie, so if you have an option that sounds like a fit, I’d love to hear from you — and I just may find something else while browsing and enjoying the perfect shopping atmosphere.
Next time: Why I am shopping for all things new to fill my first time home.
Lauren Roses is Home Accents Today’s product editor, responsible for selecting and compiling product and trend stories, and for overseeing product submissions and coverage of intros and market debuts. Lauren studied at the University of Arizona and has lived in San Diego, California and New York City. Prior to joining Home Accents Today, she worked in marketing and project management for several prominent interior design and real estate professionals. In early 2018 Lauren moved back to her home state of North Carolina where she enjoys reading, animals, hiking and spending time with family.