When opening a store, your shopping carts should be one of your first considerations. Questions like what kind of carts you should get, what size, and what type may be some things you’re currently juggling. But have you considered how you will maintain your carts in the long run? Just like anything else, shopping carts are subject to entropy, so you must maintain repairs. A poorly maintained shopping cart could be a dangerous safety hazard to your customers. In turn, if your customers have an accident, a lawsuit could be in order, affecting your bottom line. So how do you maintain shopping carts for portability? Read on to find out.
Why It’s Important To Maintain Your Shopping Carts
To begin, let’s do a simple thought experiment. Imagine an instance where a person is shopping with their child strapped to the small shopping tier facing them. This is a relatively common occurrence in most stores. Their cart stops suddenly as the customer turns the corner because the wheels are caked with grime and rust that hasn’t been cleaned off in ages. The cart tips over, and their child goes with it. Will you receive a lawsuit sooner or later?
Cart maintenance is an issue that compounds over time. Accidents like this have a higher probability of occurring if you aren’t in the habit of maintaining your metal and plastic grocery carts. At the very least, it inconveniences your customers who want to shop with you. We don’t know if you’ve ever tried to shop with a stuck wheel on your cart, but it makes all the difference.
It’s true that people normally get a new one and move on with shopping. However, if you aren’t in the habit of maintaining your carts, they’ll likely have trouble with another cart and then another. It’s improbable that your customers will return if you keep having issues. There are too many other places for them to shop that have all in order. Therefore, it’s important to maintain your carts—for both customer retention and convenience.
Customers walking out of your store because of something you should maintain is bad enough. But it can also affect your bottom line. A shopping cart must work properly for at least 8 to 10 years. However, if you’re buying new ones every 3 years due to lack of maintenance, you’ll spend more money than if you’d put them in for repairs. Replacements or big repairs can be costly, so make sure you schedule routine maintenance.
So what is maintenance comprised of? How will you maintain your entire cart, including the wheels that govern portability? Read on to find out.
How To Maintain Your Shopping Carts
There are many ways to maintain your shopping carts, but we’ll check out a few below that are bound to get you good results.
Get Help From a Maintenance Company
Suppose you don’t feel that you have time to clean and maintain your shopping carts; that doesn’t have to be a problem. Some companies exist whose sole purpose is to help you repair your carts. It’s relatively easy to outsource this task, and if you’re a big retailer on par with Target or Walmart, this might be the best option. There are hundreds of carts in these types of stores, and it’ll be too much to maintain all of them. Instead, try to use another company that’s been doing this for a few years and see how well maintained your carts become.
Train Your Employees
Not everyone is a huge retailer. It may not be cost-effective to outsource an entire company to maintain a few shopping carts. In that case, consider making it part of your employees’ job descriptions. While higher-level maintenance such as wheel replacement may not be realistic for the role, routine cleaning might be. Employees could also be responsible for getting the caked grime or rust that impedes portability out of the shopping cart wheels and sanitizing any handlebars. In the era of Covid, sanitizing against bacteria is more important than ever.
Check Your Wheels
We’ve spoken about wheels a few times throughout this article for a good reason. It’s an important aspect of portability and ease of use. How do you know when it’s time to repair or replace your wheels?
- When one or more stops working properly, it’s time to replace them. By “not working properly,” we mean that they stop and start momentum at random intervals or don’t turn properly. Many things can help you with this issue, but it may be time to either replace the wheel entirely or trash the cart and get a new one.
- Sometimes dirt, grime, and caked rust are stuck in your wheels. A good pressure wash could help with this, but again, that’s something that an outsourced company may be able to help you with.
- It helps to use a degreaser to avoid slippage. Just like wheels can fail when you try to push them, they may glide too quickly on the floor, which can cause an accident with other customers. You don’t want this to happen, so it’s worth getting your shopping cart back to standard efficiency.
Is It Worth It?
Short answer? Yes. Properly maintaining your shopping carts for optimum portability is important. It mitigates liability, and you’ll expand the life of your shopping cart with routine maintenance. It also decreases unexpected breakdowns: once your wheels and handles begin to fail, you’ll need to get a new one if you’ve waited too long.
It also increases the productivity and efficiency of your cart. Customers will be able to move smoothly in and out of your store without a hitch, and most importantly, they’ll appreciate your efforts. Customers know when you’re trying to please them and give them the best experience possible. They also sense when you’re slipping and allowing things to go into disarray.
It also helps maintain your brand. A stable cart, being such a big staple of business, gives the customer the impression that your store is professional and well maintained.
In short, shopping carts are here to stay. They’re a necessary part of any business, so keeping them in working order, especially in terms of portability, is paramount. If you want to maintain your carts, heed the tips above, and you’ll do fine. Here at Carriage Trade Service Co, we pride ourselves on the carts we sell. If you want a long-lasting cart, shop with us! You won’t be disappointed.