Mother and baby retailer Mothercare is now three years into its transformation strategy to put digital first. Part of this shakeup focused on honing the brand and more keenly defining its customer base. This has been achieved by concentrating on maternity and newborn up to pre-school aged children.
Pregnancy, babyhood and toddlerhood provides a short, albeit potentially lucrative, window for the retailer to target its customers. By the time children have started school, the retailer knows that it is no longer a go-to destination for parents. This has further driven the company’s ambition to be a precision weapon in terms of knowing who its customers are, what they need and how they want to shop.
This knowledge has been placed at the heart of merchandising on its new website and upgraded app. “Our target customers are digitally-enabled millennials who use their mobile devices while out and about to browse merchandise, review content, read reviews and purchase product,” says chief-executive, Mark Newton-Jones.
To ensure the company is always promoting the right product at the right moment within this limited timeframe, email marketing via the ‘My Mothercare Club’ provides a series of 224 emails, triggered at the different stages of pregnancy and birth. These include weekly personalised messages that aim to ensure that the brand quickly becomes a trusted source of information and advice for new parents.
This idea of joining an exclusive club that will help with the whole journey from conception to toddler training is a central aspect of the website, which includes extensive advice sections on all kinds of problems that new parents are likely to encounter. It is also put to good use in the product reviews provided by other new parents. Not only are reviews posted but customers can also ask questions about how other parents got on with a particular product and whether they found it useful in certain circumstances. Other features of the site include a wishlist facility and a gift list, highlighting desired kit that friends and family can view, much like the traditional wedding list.
The app offers a store finder, complete product catalogue and help with everything from choosing baby names to finding music to soothe a restless infant. It also provides a storage facility for electronic receipts, which can be scanned in store when returning items. In other words, everything that a digitally enabled millennial on the journey to parenthood would expect.