The founder and partner of The Baby Station, Sheetal Chopra spoke to Mommy & Baby Times (MBT), chalking out the latest developments which is their recent entry into the ecommerce space as well as on their upcoming store at Ghittorni, Delhi and the way forward for The Baby Station.
December 10, 2019
Located in Baani Square, Gurgaon, The Baby Station is an all-inclusive retail destination for a mother and mother to be for all of the baby care essentials. The assortment of products covered at the outlet ranges from toiletries and baby care essentials, feeding products, bedding, and clothing for babies and maternity wear. The store also houses a range of activity based toys, soft-toys, baby gyms, strollers, prams, walkers, nursery furniture, and a beautiful gift collection.
Started around five years ago as a toy store, the store now has an all-in range of baby care products. Sheetal Chopra affirms “tapping on the need of accessibility to high-quality and certified baby products, The Baby Station is all about bringing authentic and finest brands and products to parents. We house more than 50 brands and more than 10,000 SKUs and I would also like to mention that we have ventured into the ecommerce space.”
Latest consumer trends
With the digital age taking over and deciding a lot for how millennial consumers make their purchasing decisions as there is no dearth of resources and information on how to choose the right kind of products and brands. Basically, those days are gone when a consumer would exhibit a sense of brand loyalty and also just go for what is majorly available. Now, the millennial consumer shop a lot more consciously and also have a variety of options to choose from amongst a wide sea of homegrown and international brands.
“The Baby Station is all about bringing authentic and finest brands and products to parents. We house more than 50 brands and more than 10,000 SKUs.”
As about the notable trends in the baby care and maternity sector, she says, “the consumers have started embracing products which are innovative and practical and is unlike from the conventional products. The growing number of working women has upsurge huge demand for products such as breast pumps as it makes the job of a mother so much easier. Since the sector is fast evolving with a number of innovations taking place, we educate the parents about what is available, how it is useful to them. And with that, it has also marked a clear shift in the way parents make purchasing decisions and has changed their preferences with regard to a particular product/service from any brand.”
Being on the rise
Speaking about the growth of the retail company, “the retail store was started just five years ago and it has been a rewarding journey both in terms of commerce and fulfillment. I firmly believe that if one puts his/her heart and soul into a venture, it will yield good results. Interacting with the customers has helped a great deal in understanding the most basic needs of a parent in taking care of their little one. Having a good amount of stock of the products which is well-displayed is one of the prerequisites in managing a retail business efficiently and we try to inculcate that in the way we work.”
Highlighting the importance of a welcoming and well-trained staff, she says “the presence of a well-trained and skilled store staff cannot be emphasized enough. Our staff undergoes a major training session to be well-informed to be able to educate the mothers and answer the queries that new parents might have, especially in the case of their first-borns. They are equipped to answer questions of a new mother and to help them through the entire shopping, especially, when they are preparing their hospital bag of the basic essentials.”
“Having a good amount of stock of the products which is well-displayed is one of the prerequisites in managing a retail business efficiently”
New development- Second store coming soon in Delhi
There is an upcoming store of The Baby Station at Ghittorni, Delhi that is going to be a large format retail destination spanning over 2,500 sq ft. About the imminent store, she informs “this is a next step for our retail brand. We had recently launched our in-house range of nursery furniture items and with the second store; we wish to present to our customers our beautiful collection of furniture products. The range of furniture includes cots and cradles, wardrobe, changing tables and so on. We are also going to expand our range of baby furniture with the new store. Essentially, it is going to encompass all the essentials under one roof for a mother to be, new mothers, babies and toddlers, having all the product categories that we house at our Gurgaon store.”
Other avenue: venturing into the ecommerce space
Realizing the significance of the omnichannel approach, The Baby Station had started their e-commerce business some time ago this year.
Touching upon the ecommerce aspect, she says “we’ve just entered into the ecommerce space and the main reason behind that was we have a lot of products which are not easily accessible. We seek our customers to have a seamless shopping experience whether they are shopping from our store or from our website. We frequently get customers outside of Delhi, Gurgaon, such as from nearby areas like Jaipur or Chandigarh. This was the primary motivation behind starting our own online shopping platform for the customers living far away.”
“with the second store; we wish to present to our customers our beautiful collection of furniture products… Essentially, it is going to encompass all the essentials under one roof for a mother to be, new mothers, babies and toddlers.”
Strategising the right way for a successful retail venture
Being well-organized and appropriate store formats to cater different customers’ segments per se are the key factors for any retail business to have a smooth sailing. The ability to align well with the shifts in the market is also one of the important elements of the retail business model as the value proposition and operating model together are responsible for the success of any business model.
About the retailing strategies and on the different retailing strategies to keep in mind, she says “one of our key value propositions is to have a suitable physical layout of the store and the arrangement of merchandise for the customers to have a great shopping experience. We have set up a proper well-structured system and we have our panel of advisors to help us expand. Having abundant sourcing and being well-stocked is one of the top qualities of a good retail business model. With a proper system to glean a 360-degree view of the customers, containing information such as their product and brand preferences helps us a lot in strategizing and planning.”