Since the shopping cart as we know it was first developed by Orla Watson in 1946 (He invented the nesting shopping cart)…It has become one of the most ubiquitous and commonplace items in the world. So why should we strive to have the same looking carts as everyone else? Aren’t we trying to differentiate our stores? If you look at the original carts from 1946…they look exactly the same as many carts we see today. If you were to walk into a grocery store from 1946, EVERYTHING would look different compared to a store of 2020. What we want customers to experience when they shop our stores have changed over 60 years: We encourage them to sit down and eat, to browse, to grab a cup of coffee, take a cooking a class and much more. But for many stores, shopping carts haven’t kept up with that change. Your checkout registers look mightily different versus those of the 1950s…Why should your shopping carts look like they are from the same era?
Holiday shopping can be stressful: Long lines, lists of items to purchase, tired shoppers and then, there are the family gatherings themselves… Because of the sheer volume of food (and maybe spirits) required for these occasions, these shopping trips are some of the largest of the year for many retailers. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to fit everything you need for the Thanksgiving Dinner into your shopping cart. Are the trendy, smaller “two-tier” carts up to the challenge of a Thanksgiving Shopping Trip?
It’s no secret that phones have changed the way we shop. What might not be obvious though, is how pervasive phone use has become while shopping at a physical store. A 2019 study by PYMNTS revealed that almost half (48%) of shoppers actively use their phones while shopping in stores.
This offers retailers some new opportunities to engage with their customers. Retailers are already taking advantage of this trend with smart shelves that can push offers to shoppers’ phones. Mobile apps are also getting upgrades to include recipe ideas, store maps and “scan as you shop” features. Shopping carts have a big role to play in this digital transformation of physical retail. Have you tried to push a shopping cart and have your phone out at the same time?
It’s not easy.
Some carts have a coupon tray that you can rest your phone in…but it was built for paper coupons, not phones. We can’t have our phone rattle around in a small metal bin and use it at the same time. It's the same reason our car consoles have been upgraded from dials and small LCD displays to larger touchscreens that we can use for navigation.
Bemis shopping carts are already equipped for this latest trend: Every cart has a “phone prop” molded in. The prop fits common phone or tablet sizes and props the device at a reading and item-scanning level. Because the prop is molded into the cart’s structure, it is very difficult to damage or steal.
Making your shoppers' phones easily usable with your carts should be a priority if you want to take advantage of mobile use in your stores.