I didn’t spend much time in the baby aisle of Woolworth’s before April 23rd, but since then I’ve been making up for lost time. You see, one month ago today my wife and I had our first child. It’s been an amazing four weeks and on the eve of me going back to work I thought I’d pull together a quick piece on something I’ve noticed; Woolworths has the baby aisle all wrong!
Babies go through a ton of products. If it isn’t newborn diapers with 3D Ultraabsorb technology (actually a product), then you need creams and ointments or bottles and clothes. However, the way that Woolworths presents and groups its vast array of baby products by product and brand is completely wrong. I’m all for a product orientated display strategy. When I bought my MacBook I wanted to see only the MacBooks lined up beside each other, and nothing else. That way I could compare the memory options, etc versus the costs, and weigh up my need-to-have’s with the nice-to-have’s. However, with a child I don’t need to compare the 5 stages of single product for every purchase. My kid is a newborn, so I only need things for newborns. Yet, Woolworths displays its products using product-brand groups; meaning the diapers are all together and broken down by brands, then all the ointments are all together, etc…This means, I have to sort through product after product to find the things that my kid can use and end up missing half of the things I could be impulsively buying.
In my opinion, this is the wrong approach and I bet it means Woolworths misses out on a lot of money over the life of a baby. You see, as a parent I need a customer-centric display strategy based on the stage of my child. My child is 4 weeks old so I want a clearly labeled ‘newborn’ section that has every item relevant to him and the specific stage he’s in. That means diapers for newborns, ointments for newborns, clothes, bottles, bottle tops – all for newborns. Then when he’s a toddler I want to avoid the newborn stuff and be in another section that covers everything my toddler needs.
The benefits are simple:
1) Displaying baby products by need would make Woolworths more money, as shoppers impulsively buy their way through each stage of their child. (As a new father, I can tell you I’d buy anything at this point if I thought it would make him sleep longer through the night.)
2) It would also connect perfectly with Woolworths wider campaign strategy, in that it would build a ‘we get you’ rapport with Australian parents.
3) Finally, as my child starts to move closer to the next ‘stage’ of products, I can side-step over and see all of the things I’ll ‘need’ in the coming months. Nothing like dangling a carrot in front of my eyes to get me socking away the money to buy it.
So, if you know someone working in the marketing department at Woolworths, send them my name and my thoughts – I’d love to spend more money there.