As customers’ in-store expectations continue to grow, brands must not only
meet their immediate needs (in other words, sell products), but also build a long-term relationship. Hence, the role of retail store is quite decisive as per the study conducted by Salesforce ‘Shopping First Retail Report’ following are the key finding to empower retail store.
The top three stores in our mystery study includes Nordstrom Men’s, Bloomingdales, and Adidas, create unique and compelling physical spaces.
Here’s what we learned from them:
Stores must let consumers shop on their terms
Just 32% of our NYC stores, for example, offered click-and-collect capabilities. Those that did, such as Nordstrom Men’s, offered it seamlessly. Nordstrom Men’s notably offered a dedicated pick-up area in-store and 24/7 kiosk to provide continuous service.
Mobile apps are most valuable when seamless and ingrained with the store
The best in-store mobile tools — for example, those of Amazon Books —add value and are highly relevant to the shopping experience. In many of the stores, mystery shoppers had to be reminded to use the app. Stores seemingly offered an app just to have an app. Highlights
included Zara’s app that offered the ability to size yourself at home, and Sephora integrated its loyalty program with the app. The next wave of apps should provide a meaningful & personalized addition to the instore experience.
The store experience extends beyond the four walls
Products that added value outside the store left a lasting impact. Again, Sephora’s digital tools, in-store education events, and Beauty Insider Program let shoppers develop a set of information usable anywhere in the Sephora ecosystem. New sensors from Adidas let shoppers extend and track their running habits outside the store. Anthropologie’s design center helped link the store to designers visiting your home to provide unique furniture recommendations.
Product customization in the store
We saw new examples of customization in-store, but most of the action was in monogramming and personalizing the product, not wholesale customization. For example, Levi’s offered customization at Nordstrom Men’s, and Madewell served up monogramming and patches. Vashi in the U.K. offered made-from-scratch jewelry handcrafted in the store. American Girl, Adidas, and Nike each had multiple customization offerings. So while a handful of retailers customize products to make them unique to the customer, few brands have experiences that let shoppers truly create from scratch, presenting ample opportunity.
Stores must marry function with brand experience
Best-in-class stores simply make it easier for people to get the products they want. Leading examples were Sephora, Home Depot, and Nordstrom Men’s. These stores successfully balanced brand immersion with functional reasons to spend time in the store. American Eagle, for example, offered a lounge and laundry machines. This model may not be practical for every brand or in every store, but it certainly was effective for American Eagle’s flagship location.