Retail Reality

Mind The Store

All Work and No Play Makes In-Store Shopping a Dull Experience

By: Chelsea Pritchard Wed, 09/26/2018 - 08:39

Does it sometimes feel like shopping in stores has become as painful as, say, traversing a cavernous hotel with little offerings in the middle of a blizzard-laden nightmare?

Alright, so that may be hyperbole, but if you asked your consumers if shopping feels more like work than an enjoyable activity these days, the answer is likely yes. From Tiffany & Co. to Walmart, retailers across the country are seeking new ways to shift and improve the in-store shopping experience.

Go White Glove

Have you heard of Jetblack, the new membership service that gives shoppers access to experts that can pick out last-minute gifts, select dishware and dining essentials, choose chic outfits, and more? And did you know it’s an offering from Walmart?

By breaking expectations, Walmart has connected with an entirely new wave of consumers and elevated their shopping experience. And, riding on the program’s success, they’re branching out further and hiring 25,000 personal shoppers that will select and package groceries for curbside pickup.

Adapting the Idea:

Concierge service isn’t reserved for just the elite brands anymore. With personalized assistance a top request from today’s shoppers, consumer brands need to bring the idea in stores to match expectations.

Let’s say you’re a CPG brand that sells mostly in convenience and grocery stores—why not try pre-packaged selections of your products that consumers can pick up before or after work? (Or during the all-important lunch break?) Are you an electronics brand? Have brand-right agents streamline accessories’ shopping by providing consumers with product-specific bundles they’ll need—especially for larger ticket items that can come with numerous pieces.

Integrate In-Store and Online

Always at the forefront of retail trends, Target is honing their focus on a more seamless online-to-in-store experience. Shoppers can order online and pick it up in stores—or they can take it to the next level with Drive Up service, where associates will bring their order right to their car outside. College orders can be placed online and picked up in the Target closest to campus. Same day delivery can be set up in stores via their Shipt partnership. Restock and subscription services keep shoppers’ homes stocked on their schedule.

Adapting the Idea: Make technology an ally to drive more traffic in (or at least around) your stores. If you’re a clothing and apparel brand, why not pre-package orders placed online for pickup with thoughtful giftwrap to heighten the experience? And what if you took it a step further for your mall locations and brought the package out to consumers, saving them the time and hassle of coming in?

Expand the Experience

Who doesn’t know Tiffany & Co.’s little blue box, or hasn’t dreamt of a certain cafe breakfast? A milestone on Fifth Avenue, Tiffany has long been the pinnacle of in-store shopping experiences. But they’re taking their strategy to a whole new level with a significant investment into their flagship store—a $250 million investment, to be precise.

Focusing on the immersive consumer experience, Tiffany is looking to expand both retail space and hospitality offerings, driven by the success of its Blue Box Café (where, yes, you can enjoy breakfast at Tiffany’s). Additional engagement points include custom monogramming, perfume vending machines, and plenty of Instagram-worthy spots for pictures and social media.

Adapting the Idea: While it might be hard, admittedly, to convince a retailer you want to build a café in their stores, there’s still plenty you can do to recreate Tiffany’s exclusive, immersive experience. Let’s say you’re a kitchen and cookware brand—why not consider catering to key consumers you know are ripe for the experience? Offer monogramming and personalized accessories for wedding registry couples; create fun, photo-worthy displays for younger shoppers so they can really experience your products; and set up a regular cooking demo that’ll entice even non-hungry shoppers over to see your wares.

Looking to create the ideal in-store shopping experience? ThirdChannel is here to help. We’ve enabled brands like New Balance—who used our matched agent network to drive sell-through with university-style classes, engaging trivia games, and so much more—to make shopping an innovative and exciting experience. Explore all we have to offer with a free demo now.

Interested in learning more about how ThirdChannel can help your brand? Request a free demo now!

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