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How To Make Your Shop More Accessible For Families With Buggies

Making your shop more accessible for families with buggies is not only a considerate move but also a smart business strategy. Parents with young children are a significant market segment, and creating a welcoming environment can increase foot traffic and customer loyalty. These are some ways to ensure your shop is family-friendly and accessible.

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Entrance and Aisle Space

The first step to making your store buggy-friendly is ensuring that entrances and aisles are wide enough to accommodate prams and strollers. The entrance should be at least 32 inches wide, the standard width for wheelchairs and buggies. Automatic doors are preferable, but if that’s not feasible, ensure doors are easy to open. You might also want to consider installing secure buggy shelters for parents who do not want to bring their prams inside.

Inside the shop, maintain clear, wide aisles—ideally, at least 36 inches wide. This not only helps parents manoeuvre buggies but also benefits all customers, including those with mobility issues.

Floor Layout and Signage

A well-organised floor layout can make a significant difference. Place popular items at a convenient height for parents who might have one hand occupied. Group similar items together to reduce the time spent searching for products.

Clear, visible signage helps guide parents through the store efficiently. Signs should be at eye level and easily readable from a distance. Consider using symbols and colours that are easily recognisable.

Family-Friendly Facilities

Offering family-friendly facilities can greatly enhance the shopping experience. A clean, well-maintained restroom with a baby changing station is essential. Ideally, the changing station should be in a gender-neutral or family restroom to accommodate all parents.

A nursing room provides a comfortable, private space for breastfeeding mothers. Equip it with comfortable seating, a small table, and possibly a power outlet for breast pumps.

Customer Service

Train your staff to be attentive and proactive in assisting families. Employees should be knowledgeable about the layout of the shop and willing to help parents find items quickly. Staff can also assist by carrying items or pushing a second trolley if needed.

Consider implementing a “parent-friendly” policy where staff offer to help watch over a buggy while parents check out or browse for a few moments.

Entertainment for Children

Keeping children entertained can make shopping more enjoyable for both parents and kids. Set up a small play area with toys, books, and seating. Ensure this area is safe, clean, and easily visible to parents.

You might also provide child-friendly shopping carts designed to look like cars or animals, making the experience fun for kids while giving parents peace of mind.

Accessibility Features

Ensure your store is compliant with accessibility standards, which benefits everyone, including families with buggies. This includes ramps for entrance steps, elevators or lifts if your store has multiple levels, and accessible parking spaces near the entrance.

Promotions and Loyalty Programs

Develop promotions and loyalty programs targeted at families. Offer discounts on baby and child products, and create a loyalty program that rewards frequent purchases. These incentives can make your store a preferred choice for parents.

Feedback and Improvement

Regularly seek feedback from customers, particularly families, about their shopping experience. Use surveys, suggestion boxes, or direct feedback to understand their needs and preferences. Continuously improve your store based on this feedback to maintain a family-friendly environment.