The industry for baby and children’s products

I’ve been doing a bit of research on the industry for baby and children’s products, including clothes, accessories, toys, homeware and travel equipment.

There are two main problems with this industry:

  1. Online shoppers want to buy unique, high quality products for babies and children from independent designers, but it can be difficult to know where to find them.
  2. Independent designers want to sell more products directly to online shoppers, but they do not have large enough marketing budgets to reach the global community effectively.

A solution to theses two problems:

A curated aggregator of babies and children’s products, using economies of scale to showcase and market hundreds of products all in one place, helping to connect independent designers directly to online shoppers.

The reason why an aggregator works better than an online department store is that an aggregator gives the opportunity for a designer to grow more of a relationship with a wider customer base.  Online shoppers browse through products on the aggregator website and when they find something they want to buy they are led through to the product buying page of the designer’s own web shop to make purchases.  This means the designer can develop the relationship with the customer. The designer maintains control of stock and inventory. The transaction takes place on their own website and they can then send the products out to their customers. They can also control the customer experience, using beautiful gift wrapping or the offer of a discount on the next purchase, encouraging customers to return to their website.

There are hundreds of thousands of small independent designers of baby and children’s products globally. Most of them are run by small teams, strapped for cash and lacking time and resources. They struggle to compete with the marketing budgets of high street retailers who have the power to ensure they appear at the top of google rankings for searches like “baby gifts” or “children’s clothes”. The smaller designers have very little power so they need to sell their stock through larger wholesalers or retailers to get exposure. Wholesalers and third party retailers buy stock from designers at a 40% or 50% discount to the retail value. This is understandable, as it can be expensive getting the items out to their distribution networks and the wholesalers and the retailers need to make their margins too. But the problem is that it squeezes the designers’ margins, making it more difficult for them to increase profits so they can create more innovative products and grow.

When designers sell through wholesalers and retailers it can help them to get access to thousands of customers quickly, but it leaves the designer with much less control. They have very little say over the customer experience. It becomes harder to collect data on which customers are buying their products. It is more difficult to get customer feedback so they can make product improvements and find out what customers really want. Whatsmore, the experience of receiving an item – the opening of a box, the beautiful wrapping, the presentation – is a huge part of creating brand loyalty. If a third party retailer is selling the products, the designer does not know how they are being packaged, posted or presented to customers. If the customer really likes the product, they will likely be encouraged to come back to buy again from the third party retailer instead of from the designer themselves.

The reason why an aggregator model helps to solve these issues is that it helps connect designers directly with their customers, helping the creatives to reep the rewards they deserve. The designers can build stronger relationships with their customer base. They can control the customer experience and build stronger brand loyalty. And of course, the most important effect of the aggregator is that it helps the designers to increase their profit margins. They stop losing 50% of their margins to third parties, so they can increase revenues, put more money into product improvement and marketing, and grow their businesses.

There are some incredibly talented designers out there. They are the makers, the creators, the innovators.  Bambito’s online aggregator and shop has been built to showcase all the best products and to help give talented creatives more of an online voice. We hope to encourage people to buy from them directly and give them the recognition they deserve.

If you are a designer and you’d like some help with building your customer base, please do get in touch. We’d be delighted to feature your work.

Come join the community!

Lucy

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