This weekend my wife and I took our 6 month old daughter and went to some factory outlets to do a little clothes shopping (yeah, my favorite). After my daughter successfully kept us from shopping for the 1st hour by screaming at the top of her lungs, she finally fell asleep in her stroller and we were off to power shop before she woke up again.
As a new dad, I’m still learning all the tricks to accomplishing my goals out in public with my sweet, yet very vocal little girl.
One of our goals was to buy some pajamas for Brynna as there were at least 4 stores that carried baby clothes. First we went to Gymboree, no problems there. We got a few things and were on our way.
Next we went to Carter’s, which is a clothing store just for babies and toddlers. The problem however arose when we went into the store and realized there is no way to navigate throughout their store with a stroller. Our daughter was asleep and no way was I going to park the stroller by the door and carry her around.
Right when we were trying to figure out what to do, another couple around our age with a baby in a stroller came in and had the same reaction we did. While they sat and decided if they should shop in shifts, we booked it out of the store without looking at anything other than the first rack of clothes.
There were other stores more stroller friendly so Carter’s lost our business.
You would think that a store who’s target market is parents of babies and toddlers would be more equipped to meet the needs that come with that, in this case it would mean to make the store stroller friendly.
As a marketer, this was on my mind the rest of the day. I was thinking that it doesn’t matter if you have a retail store or a website, you need to know your target market and cater to their needs.
I came up with a list of 5 things you can do to make sure you are meeting your target markets needs no matter what your business is.
- Know Your Target Market
This may be a given, but it is important to know and research all you can on your market. What do they like? Who are they? Why are they shopping? What are they doing when they come to your landing page or walk in your doors? The more you know about them, the more you can cater to them.
- Know Your Target Markets Needs and Satisfy Them
In my case, had Carter’s allowed me push my stroller through the store, I would have had a better experience. What do your customers need? Older demographics may need larger fonts, bigger signs. Does your market have a lot of non-English speakers? Make sure you have a translated version of your site. Are you targeting businessmen? Make sure to give them technical data, they want it. Are you targeting price conscious women? Make sure you have your return policy in a place that is easy to find.
- Cater Your Design To Your Market
Back when I was doing web design full time, it amazed me that people always wanted colors and designs to look the way they wanted it, which wasn’t always in line with what their target market wanted or liked. Is your target market male sports fans living in Seattle? Maybe your colors should be blue and neon green, since that might remind them of the Seattle Seahawks. There is a lot of psychology behind colors, I’d suggest doing a bit of research to make sure your colors work for who you are trying to attract. Check out this great article on color psychology in logo design.
- Speak Your Target Markets Language
What I mean is that everything from your website to your sales associates should make your target market identify with you. If you have a more sophisticated audience use more sophisticated words. If you’re targeting teenage girls, make sure you know how they talk. A great example of this is if you go to your mall and find a store like Zumiez. Check out the people they hire. They are usually younger people who act and talk like skaters, which is exactly the type of customers they are marketing to.
- Give Them What They Want
Are you listening to your customers? What do they want? You will be surprised how much you can learn just by asking your customers. If you are completely online, setup a survey or questionaire. Maybe your customers wish you had something that would make their experience better. It could be something as simple as having a kids area with toys so their kids have a place to hang for a few minutes while they shop. Maybe they really want to see videos. There could be a million things your customers want, but you have no idea unless you ask them.
Hopefully this will start as a way to get your brain going to make sure you are meeting your customers needs.
What would you add to this list?