Store strategy concepts for today’s demanding market
There is so much content that people tend to choose based on their preferences with many factors: Fit is rather a lifestyle by now and no longer just a question of size. Consumers are looking for products matching their ways of living, based on a combination of size, color, brand reputation, supply chain transparency, communities and environment, sustainability, and so on. While 2022 brought double-digit increases in every aspect of retail, stores are still very important but had to move away from being just an inventory center and enhance in all terms the shopping experience. Full-price stores still deliver the real customer experience while outlet stores serve different purposes with different price points.
In today’s demanding retail market, the following key strategy concepts are worth considering for stores, while keeping in mind: Too much change is not good. Do not overwhelm the store, because the focus of the customer could be lost. Apply just the right amount of change.
1. The energy and message on the shop floor should be about cheering and supporting the customers.
Hermès, Upper east side New York – Luxury with personal service: Doesn’t feel overly sophisticated or intimidating
2. It is very important to identify the core products of a brand which should always be in the stores to enable customers to look at and try them on even without a purchase. This way foot traffic and the time customers spent in the stores are also significantly increased.
Hbx, Chinatown New York – Store internals as a collector’s apartment with careful choice of finishing and furniture
3. In the current economic environment, it is a must to make the most out of the shop floor by using the space efficiently and providing store staff mobility and a better ability to serve customers with modern solutions. Through the creative interior design of concept stores, customers could increase interactions and gain a whole new experience with the brand. The strengthened bond also encourages them to discover a new range of products and provide more feedback to store staff. As a result, customer loyalty improves, as well as full-price sales. Also, the retailer obtains more insight based on customer input and data gathered during interaction with customers.
Camp, Columbus Circle New York – A truly immersive full-family location with experimental rooms. Part store part entertainment park, where play is at the core of the shopping experience.
Starbucks Reserve, Empire State Building New York – An iconic destination: True multi-sensory experience with all the visual art deco clues of the Empire State Building
4. For certain audiences, direct advertising is not consumable anymore, but everyone is open to a sponsored event when the products are proven and everyone can see and try them. This doesn’t feel like a commercial intrusion but helps build communities.
Shopify, Soho New York – Coworking spaces and a hub for a community with podcast studio: Playground for a community to work together in a new way
The above ideas may not only increase customer loyalty and full-price sales, but may also boost significantly consumer data collection by increased store traffic, interaction time and depth, and also customer feedback.
In an ideal world, we would be taking and providing data to customers in an even way, so it is always important to note that the only aim for which we should be using customer data is to deliver their desired experiences and items. Only technology can deliver such close engagement with ease, while in the background there is a lot more analytics going on with the gathered consumer data.
How technology enables such transformations
Retailers are looking for mobility, flexibility, and an enhancement of store customer journeys. For example, with a cloud POS, you may break the boundaries of the “location” concept: A location could be an event, running in different physical or virtual locations at the same time.
These solutions are increasing the adaption of new capabilities at scale while significantly decreasing transitioning and training times. Intuitiveness and simplicity prove that a 10-minute training may enable a store associate to start selling and to spend more time on engaging with customers instead of long training sessions and getting lost within outdated user interfaces. This frees up a lot of energy from store associates, and enables them to focus on improving in areas where they could not perform well enough in the past to meet customer demands and corporate KPIs.
From planning through merchandising, to the store level, technology should only be the enabler to provide all a retailer aims to give to its customers. While there is still some degree of uncertainty and distrust in cloud solutions, please consider the smartphone in your pocket or just next to you at your desk: These cloud-based solutions are already with us and are never failing to serve us in an instant while securing our most valuable personal data at the highest level.