When customers enter a retail or grocery store, they want their experience to be as frictionless as possible. Many factors contribute to a positive shopping experience, such as a practical, straightforward store layout and great customer service. But if people can’t easily maneuver a store’s aisles, all other considerations fall away. This is why shopping cart portability is key to keeping your customers happy and increasing sales.
Portability refers to an object’s ability to be moved, operated, stored, and/or carried. Portable shopping carts, then, are designed to be easily transported and take up as little space as possible. Striking the balance between functionality and portability can be challenging, though, especially if your store sells a number of large, heavy items. Still, certain features can enhance shopping cart portability without sacrificing their main function — to carry a certain capacity of products.
How to Improve Shopping Cart Portability
Light, Durable Materials
The first step to achieving a more portable shopping cart is building it from strong but lightweight materials. Heavier carts aren’t just more difficult to push and pull — they can also quickly gain momentum, leading to accidents and injuries. So, the lighter the cart, the easier and safer it is to maneuver. Of course, this doesn’t mean a cart can be built from cheap materials. After all, it still has to carry several items and withstand standard wear and tear. The best carts are built from high-quality, recycled plastics and/or metals and specifically designed for maximum maneuverability and strength. For instance, plastic carts with a honeycomb lattice design are simultaneously light and durable and therefore optimized for customer satisfaction.
Quality Wheels and Bearings
It might sound obvious, but shopping carts are useless without wheels. That said, not just any wheels will do. Truly portable carts must feature high-quality wheels and bearings to allow for maximum control, minimum noise, and optimal carrying capacity. Otherwise, customers will struggle to move around the store and may put themselves, your assets, and others at risk. If you’re in the market for new carts, go for ones that feature polyurethane wheels with heavy-duty bearings.
Shopping carts have to be big enough to hold a desired amount of items but not so big that they interfere with the shopping experience itself. Double-decker or double basket carts provide an elegant solution to this conundrum. With a two-tiered approach, carts can stay trim and easily maneuverable while still offering plenty of space for items. These double basket carts serve the needs of various types of customers, too; those who only plan on picking up a few items can simply ignore the lower tray, while those who want to make a larger purchase can rest assured that there’s extra space available when they need it. Meanwhile, all customers can comfortably move through aisles with minimal risk of bumping into shelves, displays, or other shoppers.
Two-tiered carts can come in variations that maximize portability, too. For instance, a cargo cart can be thin like a standard double basket cart, but longer in order to accommodate flatter, lengthier products. Additionally, cargo carts might feature retractable upper baskets to offer more headroom for certain objects and allow for easier, more efficient storage.
Folding Personal Carts
Customers with specific needs may prefer to use their own cart when shopping. These personal shopping carts are often portable by necessity, as they must be light enough to carry and/or maneuver at all stages. As such, most personal carts are folding shopping carts, which handily collapse when they’re empty to take up as little room as possible. When opened up, these carts often reveal a deep nest for several products to rest. Retailers and grocers can keep their customers satisfied and make additional sales by selling portable shopping carts.
It’s no secret that shopping baskets are, by design, more portable than shopping carts. That said, carrying a heavy basket around isn’t always ideal. Then again, maneuvering a cart through the aisles can be a hassle in some cases, too. To solve this particular dilemma, you might offer your customers a hybrid between a cart and basket; basket carts combine the lightweight, portable convenience of baskets with the enhanced mobility of carts. These products feature a skeleton similar to a double-tray shopping cart so that form-fitting baskets can be placed in or removed from the empty spaces.
As it turns out, basket carts aren’t the only basket-cart hybrids out there. Roller baskets are another highly portable, convenient, and innovative solution for customers with unique needs. These items are slightly more akin to baskets than carts, featuring handles and a single deep nest. However, roller baskets, as their name suggests, also feature wheels and one telescopic handle, which allow customers to transform their basket into something more reminiscent of a cart. So, if the load becomes too heavy to carry, the shopper can simply place it on the ground, lift up the retractable handle, and roll their basket either in front of them or behind them for maximum convenience and maneuverability.
Shopping carts are meant to carry large amounts of products, but they can’t be so cumbersome that customers struggle to get from Point A to Point B. In other words, if you want to retain your shoppers and increase sales, you should want your shopping carts to be as portable as possible. By taking stock of the features listed above, you can keep your customers happy, reduce friction and frustration, increase store safety, and optimize storage capacity.
Good L Corporation delivers innovative shopping cart and basket solutions for retailers on a global scale. From a fleet of new custom carts to launch your store opening, to replacement baskets that supplement your existing shop supply, Good L Corp can configure the right carryall strategy to boost your retail business. Let’s get started! Contact us today for a no-pressure sales quote.