But some savvy stores are taking things into their own hands and re-imagining (and investing in) the in-store experience to bring customers back and keep them engaged.
New store concepts and innovative technology are driving change to retail spaces that could be key to boosting footfall.
Thinking of your store as a place where people come to buy is outdated. These days, people can buy from anywhere – including the comfort of their own home. A shop is no longer just a shop. It needs to offer more.
Re-imagining how your retail space is used and why people should come is essential to capture the new type of customer that has emerged post-pandemic. During 2020, Nike launched its third House of Innovation in Paris which changed the essence of what it means to be a Nike customer.
Heidi O’Neill, President of Consumer and Marketplace at Nike called it “the most digitally connected and immersive retail concept in the world." The idea behind the store is to connect digital experiences and technology to create a more personal experience for shoppers for services like sports bra and shoe fitting.
Children can enter an interactive gaming and trial station, including virtual experiences, to immerse themselves in sport.
The store has become a gateway for involvement in sport – no longer just somewhere to buy your sporting goods.
It goes without saying that digital technology has become an essential part of the new store experience. Blending digital touchpoints into the physical space gives customers the opportunity to use the store as a physical catalogue not simply a shopping space.
In 2019, British retailer Lush Cosmetics launched Lush Shinjuku in Tokyo. Described by the retailer as: “An experiential, imaginative retail space showcasing Lush’s innovation in technology, with exclusive product drops, and new ways to shop.” It was in some ways ahead of its time. Before the pandemic made it a necessity, Lush was drawing in a new wave of customers through its blend of technology and experiences.
It’s very own Lush Labs app allows customers to scan product information in-store, at home or even through the shop window – helping them to minimise packaging and waste. Every floor offers interactive, playful experiences – using customer movement to activate sounds to complement the art and design. At the heart of its use of digital technology is the motivation to create individualised experiences for whoever steps through the door.
And the trend is only expected to grow. This Cognizant report estimates that there will be a 50% increase in tech investment within retail by 2023.
Swiss bag manufacturer, Freitag, opened flagship experience Sweat it Yourself; amicro factory where customers can go and create their own unique bag.
With an already unique brand proposition creating bags from re-cycled truck tarpaulin, seat belts and old bicycle inner tubes, it has taken its shopping experience one step further by inviting customers to become part of the process.
And it is keeping up with one of the most important trends within post-pandemic retail. Consumers overwhelmingly want personalised experiences from retailers. And research shows that personalisation is profitable - yielding 20% higher customer-satisfaction rates and a 10 -15% boost in sales-conversion rates.
When it comes to re-thinking your retail space, it pays to make it personal.
If you’re considering re-thinking your retail space, speak to us on +31(0) 88 494 20 80 or email firstname.lastname@example.org