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Image Source: Babylist

Who’s Winning with Experience? Babylist’s LA Showroom Overhauls the Traditional Baby Registry

McMillanDoolitle just released the 19th edition of Retail Innovations, an annual examination of the year’s most compelling themes driving retail forward in new concepts around the world. For our first #ThemeThursday, we are featuring Babylist’s Los Angeles retail showroom – representing a complete modernization of the customer registry experience.  Read on to learn more about the online marketplace Babylist and the company’s first permanent retail outpost.

Reinventing the Baby Registry

In recent years, the $88 million US baby products market witnessed consolidation, with the losses of longstanding specialty retailers Babies “R” Us and BuyBuyBaby – due in part to changing consumer preferences. Babylist was founded in 2011 and has grown to become a leading registry provider as an online vertical marketplace. The company reaches approximately 9 million expectant households each year with its products and a robust content and community strategy, including articles, videos, and active social engagement.

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To complement an immersive digital experience, Babylist opened its first permanent retail showroom in Beverly Hills in August 2023. The 18,000 square foot brick-and-mortal outpost is designed to bring the registry experience to life by simulating a home environment where first-time parents can learn about, interact with, and even test out products in real life scenarios where they step into the shoes of parenthood.  The concept notably improves upon the traditional experience with a clever and value-added blend of online and offline:

  • Simulating real-life use cases. The showroom layout and product presentation are organized by use case and presented in a realistic way that demonstrates empathy for the guest. The showroom enables customers to try products in action through six notable nursery vignettes and special touchpoints inside the home, such as the family’s kitchen and bathrooms. Highlights include active crib-side baby monitors to understand the benefits offered by different devices, an all-terrain track to test out strollers, a car interior where guests can lift and place car seats and foldable strollers, and a lounge to support all things nursing, feeding, and pumping in a positive atmosphere.
  • Supporting the guest’s online experience. Only a small fraction of the showroom’s inventory is available for purchase in-store through the showroom’s Baby Boutique. Overall, the physical outpost is designed to make online registry building easier by empowering parents with the tactile experience of new products. Each item on the floor is equipped with a QR code that will upload the product directly to the shopper’s digital registry.  In addition, Babylist is leveraging the showroom as a testing ground to apply in-store shopper insights to improve gaps revealed in the online experience.  One such gap the showroom will address is offering a community space for events and meetups.
  • Simplifying the registry process through curation and education. Becoming a new parent is overwhelming enough, so Babylist has created an educational environment with a focused assortment. By highlighting best sellers and curated top products, Babylist helps address a common pain point of online marketplaces in an under-served segment – information overload for expectant parents. The curated setting instills confidence by streamlining the shopper research process. Experts on the floor are also ready to answer questions and provide advice.
  • Creating an upbeat environment with shareable photo ops. The showroom has an adult size baby bouncer for shoppers to take shareable photos to announce their baby news as well as games and activities, such as a working carnival claw machine and colorful light peg board.
claw game and vignettes

Image Source: Babylist

Winning with Enhanced Experience

Retail Innovations 2024 includes more than two dozen cases detailing how retailers and brands are delivering game-changing innovations to the customer experience across channels.  Download your own complimentary copy of our publication here, and contact us for expert support in designing an inspiring and impactful customer experience for your business.

Stay tuned on #ThemeThursday in the weeks to come for additional inspirational coverage of the latest global retail and brand innovations across three dominant themes that defined Retail Innovations 2024.

Maddie McBride

Maddie is an analyst on the consumer insights and innovation team at McMillanDoolittle, supporting quantitative and qualitative primary research methodologies, business analysis, strategic planning, and new concept, format and product development. She brings recent expertise in human-centered design, creative workshop facilitation, and statistical analysis to her project work. Maddie received her BA in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.

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