5 Interactive Store Examples that Will Make You Want to Shop
We’ve all heard that online is here to stay. The pandemic has indeed accelerated ecommerce growth and established new buying habits. But according to a 2021 study by Raydiant, approximately half of consumers have enjoyed going back to brick and mortar stores. They “spent more than 51% of their shopping budget in physical locations,” and prefer to buy in-person when they can.
It looks like in-store shopping is here to stay, too. But with changing habits and expectations, retailers need to think outside the box and create a more interactive, immersive store experience. Here are examples of five retailers with impressive customer experiences.
Chanel Blends Two Worlds
Too often, consumers feel like they’ve seen it all, as brand after brand repeats the same marketing strategy. Sometimes these repetitive experiences are enjoyable, other times they grow tired with time… until someone comes up with a new trend, which, once again, everyone follows.
To navigate the challenge of coming up with new ideas for experiences that truly surprise and immerse customers in interactive retail experiences, Chanel decided to borrow from a very, very different world.
So what happens when a luxury fashion retailer and makeup brand mixes up some arcade elements?
A pink pop-up shop with “game stations named after popular products from Chanel, such as Rogue Coco, Chance and Hydra Beauty,” where visitors could win free products and participate in pre-launches of new products, reports Female Magazine.
In addition, the pop up shop presented retail displays with an Instagrammable background, which likely encouraged shoppers to create their own content around the shop, and thus connect further with the brand and help spread the word.
Farfetch Provides Technology-Empowered Human to Human Interactions
When Farfetch decided to take its ecommerce platform, which curates luxury brands, to the brick and mortar world, it decided to go big, calling it the Store of the Future.
In an interview with Business of Fashion, Farfetch founder and CEO Jose Neves said that the Store of the Future will revolve around humanizing and personalizing the shopping experience, as well as connecting it with online channels.
Machines will replace the store staff’s focus on supply chain logistics, like looking up an item in the database, so that the staff can “focus on the human side of the interaction” and become “in-store influencers,” Neves said in the interview.
However, there will be no one size fits all, or one experience fits all. Farfetch developed the initial apps for the brick and mortar platform, including customer recognition at store entrance, RFID-enabled and automatic population of wishlists based on products the customer browses through in retail store, yet is opening the platform for additional companies to develop complementary apps. It’s also letting each partner brand customize the features and experiences it wants to provide customers, Business of Fashion reported.
Audi Lets You Try Equipment Virtually Before it Customizes Your Car
While some products are easy to buy without extensively trying them out first, some are big purchases, that include many aspects of decision making, like a car.
Therefore, when Audi customers want to buy a car, they go to a private customer lounge at an audi dealership, put on a VR headset, and take a deeper look at all the equipment options, including “the smallest details,” with “an extremely realistic perspective,” Audi explained when it launched this experience. Customers can choose their favorite options “from several hundred million possible models and equipment variants,” Audi announced.
But that’s not all. Customers can fully immerse themselves in the interactive retail experience before they make a purchase decision, “in three dimensions and 360 degrees, with all light and sound effects. Various environments, times of day, and light conditions,” it added.
Check it out in this one minute video:
Rebecca Minkoff Makes Shopping Seamless and Smart
Today’s consumer, especially the millennial one, is looking for greater control over her shopping experience, and less dependency on sales assistants, Rebecca Minkoff CEO Uri Minkoff explained to Footwear News. Therefore, the fashion retailer decided to find “ways to make her feel like she can have multiple experiences,” he said.
In an interview with Fast Company (see video below), Minkoff said the store welcomes you with a smart screen, where you can choose a beverage – including water, coffee, green tea or champagne – and some favorite looks. You can choose items to try on, and get a text when the items arrive at your dressing room.
When you reach the dressing room yourself, you’re welcomed by a smart interactive mirror that already knows all the items you chose to try on. If an item doesn’t fit, you can use the mirror to send a notification to a salesperson, and the sales associate will deliver the item to your dressing room.
Meanwhile, the interactive displays allow you to adjust your dressing room’s lighting – from sunny to sunset – so “you can get some confidence around what it might look like in your end use case,” Minkoff told Fast Company.
Then, customers can use self checkout and the retailer gains valuable data about its customers’ preferences.
Nike Simultaneously Offers Connected Experiences and Shopping Independence
With more Nike shoes than anywhere and an emphasis on immersive experiences, Nike’s flagship New York City store is designed to make you feel like you’ve entered a high-tech museum, not just another shop. According to Nike’s website, the store layout can be easily reconfigured, so the brand can customize and reshape experiences at all times.
The store lets you scan codes that have been placed on mannequins and request a store athlete to deliver its outfit in your size to your dressing room, adds Nike.
That’s right – a store athlete, not a sales associate.
You can also talk to an expert and get advice on styling your look or choosing the best “laces, fabrics [and] decals to customize your products.
If you prefer to do your shopping on your own, no worries. Scan your purchases using the Nike app and check out without waiting in line.
That said, Nike’s in-store experience is vastly about connection – connection to the brand, connection to the community, connection to the world. In its Seoul, South Korea, location, for example, it helps in-store shoppers find sporting events designated for the Nike community. It also accepts gently worn sneakers and apparel from customers, which it either recycles or donates, in an effort to become more and more eco-friendly, reports Input.
Mostly, though, Nike is all about unique experiences that keep customers coming back. As Nike Direct VP Daniel Heaf told Input, the intention “is to never have the shopping experience be the same if people come in on separate days.”
Create Interactive In-Store Experiences to Thrive Long Term
Even though eCommerce might be getting most of the headlines right now, customers don’t want to stop shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. They want the human connection, the ability to touch products before they buy them, and the fun of having the product with them as soon as they buy it.
But as online channels offer more and more personalization and convenience, including faster shipping, in-person stores that want to thrive long-term must provide immersive, interactive experiences that make the visit especially worthwhile.
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