“You must become a destination, build a temple of merchandise, a place to retain consumers, nurture the relationship with your community of reference”
Years ago, physical stores had to have essentially one characteristic: location, location, location! Opening in a strategic neighborhood made all the difference.
Today the function of the stores has changed: they are no longer the places where you have to go to buy, but rather those where you want to go to live an experience.
In this direction, concepts stores, shop that sells a carefully curated and unique selection of products that connect to an overarching theme are making a come back, might be able to bring customers back to physical stores.
For many years, customers could find products that were only available in a specific place – they were unique! On the contrary, today, as soon as customers enter the big shopping streets, stores (and products) don’t differ much around the world. There is nothing new anymore, everything is homologated.
This is probably the “cancer” of contemporary retail, and this this is the problem that concept stores must solve: customers are bored, they are in need of discovering new things.
The question is then: can concept stores save brick and mortar retailers? What we can say is that they are places where new ideas are put together in a bid to enhance the shopper experience, boost sales, and they are created to offer a mix of different kinds of products but always tailored to a specific target group. Starting from these characteristics, they ensure an unforgettable customer experience.
Concepts stores have been integrating cafés, art exhibitions and much more into their retail spaces: they are designed to inspire their shoppers.
It’s also important to understand that consumers don’t want stuff anymore, they want memories.
In conclusion, concept stores and physical shopping experiences may be able to re-attract customers into the stores and turn them into actual buyers and loyal returners.
Source: Global Retail Alliance
Photo credit: The Cool Hounter Journal