Viewpoints

Catering to New Moms Is Good for Business

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Pregnancy makes you a target for all sorts of unsolicited advice: “Enjoy your sleep while you can,” “don’t lift that,” the list goes on and on.

But what no one told me and I’ve since learned is just how difficult it is to get out of the house. I’m not talking emotional incapacitation, but the actual logistics of getting you and your little one fed, cleaned and ready to go before it’s time to start the process all over again.

Add to the fact that immature immune systems make highly trafficked supermarkets dangerous for babies less than four weeks, and it’s plain to see why new moms like me forgo their once-routine grocery missions for the convenience of home delivery.

According to the Hartman Group’s “Clicks & Cravings” survey I’m not an anomaly. Those who shop online typically only do so when their day-to-day routine is interrupted. Cost and fresh food quality limitations make traditional shopping the preferred method.

Now that my daughter is a little older I’m back to the grocery store because fresh produce and meats are better shopped for in person.

But I continue to buy most of the products that make consumers like me highly coveted by marketers, online. Diapers.com has been a godsend with next day delivery that’s free.

My fragmented approach came after shopping with my baby proved challenging. It turns out that despite the substantial purchasing power that mothers with babies wield, their needs are often overlooked.

Sure, designating a parking spot for “mother’s with young children” helps, but I’m often left scratching my head about where to put my infant who’s too little to sit in the cart. I can bring the stroller, which limits the number of items I can tote around the store or wedge her car seat into a shopping cart, also restricting what I can buy.

Read more: Hy-Vee's New Store Has Room for Mom

Shopping carts with built-in infant seats should be made more obvious to moms. I’d be more apt to shop a store that has these carts and corrals them in a convenient place. Antibacterial wipes would also be nice.   

A quiet area to feed my little one is another wish. Hy-Vee has the right idea with its room for breastfeeding moms and parents who simply need a break. This benefits retailers too since baby’s appetite often dictates time spent in the store.

Such conveniences would make me more likely to buy that big box of diapers or stop to sample products before impulsively throwing them in my cart.

Retailers should better cater to moms with babies. And that’s my best advice.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 1

on Mar 14, 2013

Dear Julie:

You are right. There are many areas in the supermarket experience that need improvement in terms of making it more convenient for new moms who shop, particularly when it comes to exposure to germs and other sanitary concerns for their infant. Every day parents and caregivers grab the handles of shopping carts and place their toddlers and infants into the baby seats of shopping carts. Sometimes toddlers push the carts themselves. Research reveals that shopping cart handles have more germs than public restrooms. The best way to keep infants, toddlers and their mom’s safe from these germs is to swipe the shopping cart handle with a disinfectant wipe before you place your child into the baby seat or infant seat. Realizing that this was something that shoppers were concerned about we, at Adcorp Media Group, have developed the Welcome Center kiosk to help supermarkets meet the needs of their shoppers and offer easy access to sanitary wipes. The kiosk has already been placed in over 1,000 supermarkets in the Northeast, Florida and California. The Welcome Center kiosk, placed at the entrance to the supermarket usually near the cart corral, dispenses sanitary wipes for easy access by shoppers. Shoppers swipe the handle of the cart, can wipe around the baby seat area or infant seat and can toss the used wipe into the trash receptacle that is also part of the kiosk. New moms (and all shoppers!) love the convenience and sanitary safety, and supermarkets realize the value to their shoppers.

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Jon Springer has been writing about food, food retailers and food retailing for more than 10 years, and is in his second tour of duty with Supermarket News. His prior experience includes covering the...
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