вЂњChildren have money, children have incredible power when it comes to shopping and shoe retailers still donвЂ™t appreciate them sufficiently.вЂќ KidsвЂ™ and youth market researcher Ingo Barlovic brought along a wealth of helpful tips for his approx. 150 listeners at the third Kids Business Brunch at GDS вЂ“ International Event for Shoes & Accessories - suggesting how footwear retailers can turn children into customers.
According to his data the 6 to 19-year olds in Germany have EUR 23.1 b at their disposal of which they actually spend EUR 22.8 b, EUR 4.42 on fashion. Yet shoe retailers, he said, were still not doing enough to turn this important target group into more loyal shoppers вЂ“ despite the fact that 70% of the six-year olds already had an active say in shopping for shoes.
Nevertheless, children are not a homogeneous target group and can therefore not be categorised according to shoe size. Every one to two years their perception and demands and, hence, the childrenвЂ™s consumer behaviour changes. Children aged 5 to 7 can even be broken down into three different target groups. Moreover, girls and boys sometimes live in completely different вЂњlife-worldsвЂќ. While boys aged 8 to 12 assess themselves as strong, loud and brash, girls rate themselves as fashionconscious, bitchy and romantic. вЂњThese worlds are what the young shoppers want to find reflected in shoe stores,вЂќ Ingo Barlovic explained.
вЂњPreferences for fashion brands are formed between the ages of 12 and 17. And what we learn in our younger days accompanies us for the rest of our lives,вЂќ Barlovic said and added: вЂњTodayвЂ™s young shoppers are therefore tomorrowвЂ™s customers; and your store needs their loyalty.вЂќ The market researcher advised the retailers present to adapt to the needs of these young target groups. The task was to work out highly individual retail concepts tailored to the respective demands.
For the 3 to 7-year-old target group Barlovic recommended to address mother and child as a team rather than opponents at the POS. In the sales pitch the вЂњplotвЂќ should be comprehensible and replicable. Furthermore, visual stimulation by sign 2 stimuli was just as important as the invitation to interact. In contrast to this, in the 7 to 10 age group everything revolved around treating children like serious shoppers and providing them with information and choice, he said.
For 11 to 15-year-old shoe-shoppers sales assistants had to ensure the necessary scope and freedom for undisturbed exchange, for instance with an accompanying friend.
BarlovicвЂ™s advice: вЂњOffer all of these target groups something new time and again, alternate your ranges and вЂ“ above all вЂ“ create experience realms in your stores to address your young clientele in a very personal manner.вЂќ
Barlovic also recommended to meet these special requirements in advertising: clear product information, age-related approach in goods display, variety, consideration of basic age and gender-specific needs as well as emotionalising presentation by means of experience realms were but a few of the elements to be taken into account for successful marketing.
BarlovicвЂ™s summary: вЂњChaotic shoe stores with a вЂњhotch-potchвЂќ of departments should be a thing of the past. Experience realms have been so far been missing at specialist shoe stores. There is huge potential lying idle here.вЂќ
The next GDS and GLOBAL SHOES will be held at the DГјsseldorf Exhibition Centre from 11 to 13 September 2009.