If you’ve ever shopped with a child in tow during the hectic holiday shopping season, you’re no stranger to stress. But, retailers who apply human biology and cultural models to their store designs could potentially gain a leg up in making moms more comfortable – not to mention more likely to shop and spend? Moms are busy people, juggling a multitude of duties. It is important to remember that moms are usually the primary shoppers in a household. And shoppers aren’t always the person who consumes a product. Because moms are juggling so many duties, it is easy to make little mistakes in a retail setting that will drive them away. The more a store can do to provide an environment that puts them at ease, the longer they will stay and the more loyal they will become.
Here are a few ideas on how retailers can make their store layout and design more mom-friendly:
1. Red is Dead. Humans are hard wired to associate warm colors with natural spaces that trigger the brain to feel calm and make shoppers want to linger. Differentiate your store by saying goodbye to traditional red and green and hello to warm colors like maroon and evergreen. The soothing colors will decrease stress and create a non-threatening environment encouraging moms to purchase.
2. Arch this way. For centuries, arches have served as symbolic gateways, signaling the entrance into a “special” or safe place. Anthropologists refer to this as “liminal space.” Archways signal to us that we are entering a space that is different and therefore special. Moms are more likely to purchase when they are in a relaxed, safe environment and believe they are buying a unique product. Use arches in your retail space to draw attention to special offers or seasonal areas and create a safe shopping environment.
3. You touch it, you buy it. The more often a person touches a product, the more likely they are to buy it. Touching something, even in passing, subconsciously signals ownership and draws in. Moms, in particular, are trained to touch as a way of ensuring quality and safety of objects for their family. When we test for quality, we are committing ourselves to something and in doing so make it our own. Use fixtures and displays that require shopper interaction to increase engagement and lead to higher purchase rates.
4. Get intimate. Personal space ranges from 2 to 4 feet. When moms feel they are doing something intimate, rather than just a task, they will have more positive associations with the experience. To create an intimate shopping experience, arrange your displays with 2 to 4 feet of space on either side of the shopper.
5. From a space to a place. Familiarity with a location puts people at ease and lets them take their time examining things. Public space have no personal connection and are potentially threatening. Moms that feel like they are in a comfortable, familiar space will spend more time and more money. Don’t be afraid to use furniture on the edges of an aisle to make it appear more homey.
6. Sometimes “mom” is not the word. Forget about “mom” for a minute. Human beings respond to symbols. Moms are constantly being reminded of what their social role and sometimes it can get tiring. Periodically use symbolism in displays that reminds them of their lives outside motherhood, such as pictures of a woman relaxing or shopping for herself.
7. Hidden treasures. People love to find hidden gems, whether they are shopping for food, cards, or anything else. “Hide” merchandise in unexpected places throughout an aisle. When moms find these items, it reminds them they are clever and skilled shoppers. This will drive them to continue shopping, as they look for additional deals.
Human perceptions of space, although derived from sensory tools that all humans share, are shaped and patterned by culture. Designing your retail space to reflect these often subconscious behavior patterns will put moms at ease, which leads to increased time in the store – and increased sales.