Case study: Capturing online customers in-store



by KAREN KRITZER

Is retail dead?
Are the future of brick and mortar stores in jeopardy?
What about the retail apocalypse?
Will online shopping take the place of visiting stores?

 

Upon my recent trip to Edmonton for the Alberta Gift Fair, as I wandered trendy Whyte Avenue, I realized that we should put those questions to bed. Retail is alive and well, and full of promise! In fact, it is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting times to be in business because there is a sense of promise and expecting the unexpected within a store environment. Brands are thinking outside the box more than ever before and brands are emerging that along with selling product, they are caring about the world and community around them.

 

 

What can make a retailer stand out? The answer is simple. It is in the pairing of a “back to basics approach” with new ways of working, while interjecting just the right number of current trends into their business module. Right now, so many stores are doing so many things right! Of course, having a strong online presence partnered with a store location allows brands to reach various target markets within a city and beyond resulting in more brand recognition.

The following are a few simple components that can be starting points for contributing to a brand’s success:

Workhall Studio simple fixture

 

Fixtures
Beautiful, simple fixtures can complement a product assortment. This allows for a very specific flow, and a sense of harmony created within a store environment. Merchandise becomes presented in a way that allows the shopper to focus on it, and it can resemble a gallery-like presentation. The products look special, and the high quality is evident and elevated, but not in a way that creates a barrier between the product and the customer.

 

Workhall Studio talented stylists

 

Customer Service:
Sales personnel, also commonly called “stylists” in apparel settings, are “brand ambassadors” themselves. When they exhibit passion for a brand, and they transport the right amount of authentic enthusiasm, it can achieve amazing results.  In fact, it can be refreshing. Quickly a shopper can move from being interested in trying on one or two pieces of merchandise, to having a whole army of talented stylists curating an entire look. When executed properly, for a few minutes one can be made to feel as though they are the only one in the store, and that they are one of the regular customers. The feeling of being treated as a guest, understanding the brand, and moving into consumer mode, blurs together. 

Workhall Studio personal service

 

Customization:
Adding an extra element, such as offering alterations, which can be completed on sight, is a nice touch. Simple services that create customization options and save consumers time are always welcomed additions allowing them to create strong brand awareness and this will also cultivate brand loyalty.

 

 

FUTURE OUTLOOK?

In retail we continue to see the promise of both old and new store concepts.
Nordstrom Local
which opened in Hollywood California at 3, 000 square feet is a concept store that has eight dressing rooms where guests are able to try on clothing and accessories that have been carefully selected through style board type apps.  This store, although it lacks product, it offers services and it is tailored to suit the community.

We will continue to see this shift in how brands approach the store environment and how they incorporate elements into their brick and mortar locations.