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5 ways to target the “mommy market”

Did you know that the buying power of mothers tops $1.7 trillion in annual purchases of products and services, making them America's top consumer group, according to the book, Trillion Dollar Moms.The time to attract this woman is when she’s pregnant and looking to eat as healthy as possible. Most moms-to-be are like me (I’m 6 months pregnant) and think: Even if I ate like crap for the last decade, I’m not going to blow it for my innocent developing baby. In other words, I and she are your ideal customer.

It won’t take much to convince us to come into your oasis of health and become loyal shoppers. Here are some tips:

  1. Create a prenatal health section. This is one time in a woman’s life when there’s no debate over supplementation: Pretty much every health care practitioner recommends pregnant women take prenatal vitamins with adequate folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. My midwife also recommended DHA and calcium. If most pregnant women are like me, they prefer to buy specially formulated prenatal supplements. It’s gotta say “prenatal” on the package; otherwise, I’m not convinced it’s right for me—or my bun-in-the-oven. Make it easy for us by stocking these items together on a shelf, along with children’s supplements for a special “family health” section.

  2. Know safe and unsafe ingredients. For better or worse, savvy pregnant women are now heading online to get information on ingredients to avoid. Then, they head to your store and scour labels. For example, I had heard that I should avoid rosemary oil. I then saw that a prenatal DHA supplement at my local natural products store contained rosemary extract. What gives? Be prepared to answer questions about the safety of ingredients (in foods, supplements and personal care products) or, if you prefer, have reference books available for customers. Once you offer knowledgeable and sound advice, word will spread through the mommy network that your store is top notch.

  3. Make her feel special. You’ve likely had it drilled into you that it’s a “no-no” to ask a woman if she’s pregnant. But at a certain point, most women cross a line when it’s clear that they’re carrying a baby and haven’t just swallowed a basketball. Pregnant women love to get special treatment, so when you see an obviously pregnant women, cater to her. Smile and tell her you have, say, wild Alaskan salmon on sale in the seafood section or that pickles are two for one. According to BSM Media, 80 percent of moms buy products on the recommendation of other moms. The same is likely true of moms-to-be. To go beyond the store, use Facebook and Twitter to advertise promotions. Moms are online 24/7.

  4. Stock non-food items. If you carry a selection of pet toys, why not carry non-food items for pregnant women and new moms? Some ideas: BPA-free bottles, organic cotton bibs, chlorine-free disposable diapers and more.

  5. Offer education. Pregnant women enjoy being around other bellies. And when they get together it’s inevitable that the conversation turns to food because they spend a good portion of their days eating. Invite this group to your store for an expert-led talk about prenatal nutrition or top supplements for pregnancy. Follow up this event with other topical classes for new moms (best foods for breastfeeding, first bites for babies and so on), so we’ll have a reason to return to your store even after baby is born.

What other strategies do you use to serve pregnant women and mothers? Let me know below.

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