As an iCandy Brand Ambassador, Baby Moon Baby Shop is an invaluable advocate for the iCandy brand and proudly showcases the full iCandy product range via bespoke displays. We caught up with founders (and parents too!) Barry and Grace to find out all about their store and to get their industry insights...
Tell us about Baby Moon Baby Shop – when did you open the store and what inspired you to do so?
Baby Moon Baby Shop opened in June 2020, a small bit delayed than our original planned opening but for obvious reasons. The inspiration to open the store came from when we were shopping for our eldest daughter. We had to make a long journey to the nearest nursery store and we thought at that point (almost 8 years ago) there was definitely an opening for a nursery store in the Midlands (Co Offaly, Ireland). Barry’s nursery industry experience also gave us some inspiration.
Since launching Baby Moon Baby Shop, how has it grown and developed?
Our online presence has grown significantly and we are just on the tip of reaching 10k followers on Instagram which we think is an amazing achievement having just opened our doors over a year ago! We have also grown our product range and are adding new lines all the time. Word of mouth and referrals is key for us too and the response to our store and our customer service has been phenomenal.
Tell us about your business set-up?
During the height of lockdown, like every business, we had to adapt. This meant virtual demonstrations and phone call consultations, all the while making sure our website was in tip top shape. When restrictions were lifted a little, we ran by appointment only and now we are fully open but have a capacity of people that we can allow in store at any given time. We find that some people still like to do their shopping from the comfort of their couch and for this reason our online is busy especially in the run up to Christmas etc.
How about your staff?
As well as ourselves (Barry & Grace) we have Keelin, who is a huge part of our store. We are all fully trained on car seats and of course our strollers - especially one of our best sellers - the iCandy peach. We all love to demo this one!
How long have you been trading with iCandy – why did you decide to stock iCandy products?
We have been trading with iCandy since we opened our doors in 2020. It was a very easy decision to make. iCandy is an amazing brand and their products are of amazing quality. Every item in the iCandy range is so stylish and we cannot wait for the upcoming product launches...We also think their aftercare and customer service is second to none
Barry & Grace
What is your bestselling iCandy product?
Without doubt our best selling iCandy product is the iCandy Peach, people love the small, compact fold and the fact it can double up further down the line.
What have been your biggest challenges to date?
Our biggest challenge to date has been the pandemic, like all businesses we had to battle hard, but we are doing well in spite of this. We also feel online is very competitive at the moment, in the sense there are a lot of businesses competing for the same online space. This is something we as a business feel you need to constantly have your finger on the pulse with.
The industry is very competitive – how do you stay one step ahead? How do you drive traffic and awareness to your store and website?
Customer service is paramount to us and we feel if you provide a good service and have good aftercare you are already one step ahead. Driving traffic to your store and website comes in lots of forms - having engaging and educational content on your social media channels, having a presence of ad space on google and of course the age-old word of mouth, which is how the majority of our customers hear about us.
What does it mean to you as a retailer to be an iCandy Ambassador?
Like we have mentioned, iCandy is an amazing brand and we feel so honoured to be made Ireland’s very first Brand Ambassador. We are thrilled to be married with such a prestigious company and brand.
Do you feel that your customers research products prior to making a purchase?
Yes definitely. Most of our customers that come into the store have done some form of research but are still looking for guidance on what best suits them and their lifestyle
Is there a must-have product for your customers at the moment?
A travel system is obviously a must for most of our customers, but outside of that a next-to-me crib is definitely a must have product at the moment.
When buying for your store, what features stand out to you within a pushchair?
Features that stand out for us are the fold; is it compact and easy? The aesthetics of the pushchair and the ease of manoeuvrability. This all tied in with the reputation of a brand, are key features for us.
What is your pushchair trend forecast for the next year in terms of design features and functionality?
This is a tough one as there are already some amazing products on the market that have some amazing features – the compact fold on the iCandy Peach for example.
Do you think parents have a greater focus on sustainability when it comes to their purchasing decisions?
Definitely, parents want longevity and future proof pushchairs. Having something that has an option of converting into a double stroller is on a lot of parents' minds when they come into the store. They want something that stands the test of time and they will hopefully use for all the family.
The nursery industry is constantly evolving with new products coming to market all the time – how do you know if a brand is right for your store and customers? What are the key features you look out for?
We look for something that has a complete package in terms of good quality products, good reviews, good assets, and has already created a reputable online presence.