Today I’m pleased to present a guest post by Kate Supino.

“Love me, love my dog.” It’s a saying dog owners coined to express their sentiment that if you want to consider them your friend, you have to accept the whole package, dog included. Those who don’t own pets have adopted this saying and expanded upon it to include anything the person is passionate about. That passion could be scrapbooking, love of music, or family members, including children. The saying is steeped in loyalty. It implies that the person won’t go anywhere unless their passion is also welcome.

Most people’s passion is their children. To garner customer loyalty, businesses must learn to find ways to express their welcoming attitude toward customers’ children.

Here are some great ways to enhance loyalty by appealing to a customer’s kids.

Online Activity Sheets
Online businesses can devote a few pages of their websites to fun activity sheets and coloring pages. Grateful mothers can print out these age-categorized PDFs to occupy their little ones while they shop online at your site. Word will spread like wildfire that your business understands moms’ needs and wants to help entertain their children. With any luck, their children will begin to request that mom visit your website to get more fun sheets.

Encourage Mini-Mes
Little girls love to play dress-up, pretending they are mommy. They love to emulate your actions around the house, role playing with toy vacuums or toy sinks and dishes. Consider offering mini versions of the products you sell.

For example, if you sell stand mixers, add a “you may also like” feature to the product description page that shows a children’s toy mixer for purchase. Make it easy for your customers to add the plaything to their original order. You don’t have to stock extra products. You could simply process the order as an affiliate for the child’s toy, increasing your revenue in the process.

Play Areas
For a brick-and-mortar store, providing a play area within plain sight of the mother provides a welcome respite from the constant skirt-tugging that some children put their mothers through while they’re trying to shop. Fill it with interesting, washable toys that will entertain children of various ages. Don’t forget to include a small bookshelf stocked with the classics we all enjoyed as children. Finish it off with a small table and four little chairs for the little ones to play on. Not every activity needs to be electronic to entice children.

Tips for Booksellers
If you run any kind of independent bookstore or store that sells magazines, place the children’s books at children’s level and the adult material out of children’s reach. Children may find books that they ask their parents to purchase, and they will feel empowered to be able to “shop” for themselves. Mothers will certainly appreciate if you keep magazines up high, where children cannot see the ubiquitous provocative covers.

Catering to the delights of children does not mean that your business is trying to take advantage of the children’s market. It simply means you are running a business operation that welcomes every member of the family. It also means that you know and understand your customers. Parents will notice your efforts and reward you in ways you probably hadn’t imagined.

Kate Supino is a professional freelance writer and small business owner who writes extensively about best business practices, including the necessity to sometimes remove personal information.