Empty Nesters Use Online Shopping to Keep Connected with Kids

The Scenario: The Kids are All Off to College

Hi, I’m Alice, and it’s official—my husband Tim and I have just become the newest members of the “Empty Nester” club. Our two older children are well on their way to graduating, and our youngest just left for college yesterday.

Today, I realized how much I enjoyed the sound of video games in the background…just kidding, but honestly, it’s annoyingly quiet without the kids around. As a homemaker, it’s a tough transition from a house full of boisterous teenagers—to no lunches to pack or laundry to fold.

We’re a tight-knit family, and I always knew this day would come, so it’s both exciting and bittersweet—and sometimes lonely—watching our children gain their independence. Now that our youngest is on his way to college, what are we supposed to do with ourselves!?! …


The Problem: Online Shopping Together When You’re Far Apart

We love to shop with and for our kids. When the five of us were still under one roof, at least once a month we’d pack up the family and head to the mall for a little “necessity” shopping—or some good old fashioned retail therapy.

At the shopping mall, the kids would meet up with their friends, and we with our friends, have some lunch, with the tribe circling back whenever there was a credit card or petty cash in need, which is to say, often.

Last week, our eldest daughter (currently attending school in South America) landed an internship after graduation. For four years, she wore the CoEd uniform of tee shirts and jeans, but now our “little girl,” very nearly all grown up, is in need of some suitably professional clothes for her first foray into adulting.

Graduation around the corner—it’s time for some “adulting” clothes.

OF COURSE, I wanted to help my favorite (and only) daughter pick out a new wardrobe, and I was flattered that my kid valued my input into her burgeoning personal style (lots of good feels for mom). She began texting me links to sophisticated look books with coordinating shoes and accessories—some I could even envision her wearing! ? But more importantly—I was getting to “Mom” again.

After our 10th text message exchange, I found myself having a hard time following along—unclear whether I was responding to the right request on any given item—and trying to do it all on my phone. Go ahead, “Ok Boomer” me, but I still don’t get all the technology…that’s what I have kids for.

I asked my daughter if she would email her choices to me so I could view them on a bigger screen. Turns out this wasn’t ideal either…a laundry list of hyperlinks, dozens of open website tabs, and the inevitable rabbit holes they lead you down is no way to shop online either.

Being halfway around the world added extra lag time between receiving an email—and responding from a time zone far, far away. Over the next few days, there were disjointed messages and confusing texts asking me if I liked the “pink blouse.”

Which pink blouse? There were dozens!

The Solution: CoCarting and The Rise of Two-Way Shopping

What we needed (besides a little Mother/Daughter time) was a way to “curate” a shopping cart, where both of us (and even others) could add our items to the cart and keep them all in one convenient location—to view at our leisure in our own time zones.

I was daydreaming about the perfect online shopping experience for us and our college-aged kids. We needed something that would keep us connected as a family, just like back in our mall walking days. I decided to dream big and added video chat and messaging capabilities so we could peruse, pick, and choose our products together—in real time.

How fun would that be?

Turns out, mutual online shopping—where loved ones can gather to shop online together, in real-time—didn’t exist.

Until now.

It’s called CoCarting—an innovative solution to online shopping that removes the confusion of tracking countless links, while providing access to millions of products from trusted vendors like Wal-Mart, Target, and so many more.

With CoCarting, our whole family can get involved in each other’s shopping experience using a family-owned CoCart. My middle son has a wicked fashion sense, never shy with his opinions about what is “au courant” and what is not.

The CoCart lets him (and the rest of us) vote thumbs up or down on items placed in our “invitation only” shopping cart, or make suggestions on other “Big Ticket” products our kids might be thinking about purchasing.

CoCarting creates a virtual mall for our children to create wish lists, buy birthday gifts, or food items for parties and BBQs, while keeping connected with their siblings and friends attending different colleges. CoCarting is like being in a mall together, trying on clothes, and giving one another honest opinions, e.g. “hot” or “not,” even though you’re really miles apart.

The Benefits: Transitioning Relationships Through Shopping

We’ve read the empty nest syndrome studies where parents like us experience a sense of loss and purpose when kids head off. With no schedules, timelines, or routines to adhere to, parents whose children leave home, are left feeling adrift, with too much “free time” on their hands.

It’s also common for us Empty Nesters also suffer from mental health issues, like grief, depression, and loss of identity when the kids launch. If you’re looking for a way to stay involved, connected, and dare we say, helpful, in your kid’s lives, CoCarting is the solution. With CoCarting, you can:

  • Keep connected and involved in loved one’s lives through shopping.
  • Create a private, centralized, online location for real-time shopping with others.
  • Validate your choices among those whose opinions you trust.
  • Minimize duplicate, or hit-or-miss purchases when buying gifts.
  • Enhance the collective purchase power of groups.
  • Eliminate the hassle of confusing hyperlink lists.
  • Reduce time-consuming product returns.

CoCarting has provided our family with a fantastic way to keep involved with our children as they head out in their own lives. We’ve found the engagement makes us feel better connected to our kids and helps prevent the negative mental health effects of a suddenly empty home.

Think of it like a walk in the mall with friends and family—but different! Are you ready to get your shopping squad together? CoCarting makes online shopping fun—again!