Not a Shop

The Reinvention of Retail

Gone are the days of your average shopping experience. We are now entering a new era with brands creating unique spaces to showcase their offerings and much more. This is because people want an authentic and exciting experience while they browse for their next purchase.

We live in a society where people are bombarded by advertising tailored to their specific tastes, there’s no escaping it. The younger generation who are the future consumers are extremely quick to judge, along with attention spans that are dwindling, and they are craving brand new experiences and exciting shareable moments.

Customer experience futurist Blake Morgan highlights five ways in which to create a customer experience for Gen-Z, the consumers of the future.

Creating a highly visual experience is key as, attention spans for Gen-Z have dropped to a mere eight seconds compared to the older millennial cohort’s twelve. This means those first few seconds are fundamental for brands to engage their audience and build connections.

Prioritising mobile is another important factor for brands and they need to have an online presence given the vast swathes of time young people are spending there. The new inbuilt shopping functionality on Instagram is indicative of how Gen-Z also like to shop and make their purchases on their mobile.

The third factor looks at how Gen-Z are still interested in a personalised experience due to the fact they have grown up being provided with tailored services. Brands need to make sure that they are not just doing the classic personalisation but instead providing an experience which is even more individualised and niche.

Building trust is a fourth factor that has been important for brands for the past decades and is still just as important today. Brands need to be able to relate to Gen-Z on their level and build the trust of their customers through quality and not just brand name recognition.

The final and fifth focus is on the importance of the in-store experience. Gen-Z consumers want to do more than just browse products, they want to interact with the brand and be provided with extra experiences.

With a huge focus on the in-store experience we have seen the rise of these unique shopping experiences grow and grow. For example, brands such as Samsung, adidas and Vans have shown us how it’s done.

The new Samsung KX space is not a shop but instead a place where you can #DoWhatYouCant, The brand has created a unique and beautiful space in Coal Drops Yard in Kings Cross, London. It showcases all of Samsung’s new technology while also providing a space for a variety of events to take place, from yoga classes to concerts to product-led masterclasses. Samsung kicked-off the opening of the space with the very first vertical stage concert and it will be fascinating to see the direction the brand takes in this space from hereon.

Another example of a new wave of stores is the new adidas LDN store on Oxford street which opened in October to replace its smaller, more traditional store nearby. adidas’ most digitally-enabled store to date, it has over a hundred digital touch-points, including interactive changing rooms 100% powered by green energy.

adidas has also added a bespoke innovation to its app called ‘Bring it to Me’ which allows customers to scan a product, check if their size is in stock and even purchase on the spot.

A further factor that adds to the overall customer experience is ‘The Base’ which offers customers the chance to experience products and become involved with interactive challenges. These examples demonstrate how stores are becoming far more than just retail locations and embracing a future as event spaces that enable brands to host a range of experiences that enable them to build stronger, deeper and more effective relationships with their customers.

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