What investment are Irish retailers making in-store?
After multiple lockdowns, shoppers flocked back to physical stores with the Irish High Street bouncing back incredibly strong with Central Back of Ireland reporting a 10 per cent increase on expenditure in 2021 compared to two years ago. With this strong indicator, brands are looking to reinvest in their physical stores, but not as we have seen them before.
Omnichannel retailing is the multichannel approach to sales that focus on providing seamless customer experience, whether the client is shopping online from a mobile device, a laptop or in a brick-and-mortar store. This kind of retailing is prevalent with Harvard Business School reporting 73% of all customers use multiple channels during their purchase journey, and this is where physical stores come to the forefront.
Brands are using their stores as an extension of their online platforms to create a strong connection with consumers and strengthen their overall brand. Luxury brands have used digital integration in store for quite some time, with Burberry’s Regent Store seen as a beacon in digital strategy, with the brand stating the state-of-the-art digital experience “blur the lines between digital and physical shopping experiences.” The store includes digital signage screens on floors and wrapped round the walls, living streaming hubs and dressing room mirrors that allow you to request help and even pick the music playing.
High Street Retailers are now ensuring their digital strategy is filtering to their stores, including interactive touchpoints throughout, product QR codes to get more information and large screens showing brand videos.
“Eventise” their Spaces
Stores need to be seen as an activity, that we can do with family and friends. Shopping is a destination, not a chore and brands are capitalizing on this and creating event spaces within their stores. Camp a US toy store are doing this brilliantly, branding themselves as a Family Experience Store, not only can you purchase toys, but family can play throughout the store in themed ‘Camps’ to experience with your family. Stores are now adding lounges and art installations within the retail space, moving away from the traditional use of space of showcasing product.
Brands are now creating stores that serve a purpose of creating content through social media. They realise anyone with a phone can be a brand advocate by posting about their stores through their social channels. This is especially true for brands who where digital first before moving to physical stores.
Glossier the online beauty company, had massive success with their pop-up stores, with 100,000 people visiting the London pop up in 10 weeks, and have just opened their first international Flagship Store in the city, with beautiful backdrops in their brand’s iconic pink, all the details are very ‘insta-worthy’ and customers are flocking to store to snap and upload.
Brands understand that shoppers still want a space to experience the product, to touch and feel it, before making their decision to purchase and are investing in their stores to create memorable experiences for customers to ensure not only a sale but a lasting relationship.
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