To buy or not to buy?
What is more important than buying the latest products from Jimmy Choo to spice up your new season wardrobe, or that new tailored suit for that all important business meeting or that extra special event? The shopping experience.
A great shopping experience should always leave you pumped up or at least content over your new purchase. Though in some cases, it can leave you physically and often financially drained. This isn’t the way to go as shopping has always meant to be a pleasurable and enjoyable experience.
Brands will often focus on their shopping experience in order to make the experience pleasurable.
How do brands influence this shopping experience?
The most classic example would be the store window display which is usually a customer’s first contact with a brand before they even enter the store. The staff, the theatrical display of the latest products on the mannequins or even the promotions on offer are all at play. A customer’s shopping experience is the product of an interaction between the customer and the brand. Attraction, discovery, awareness, patronage and purchase should always be taken into consideration during the customer-brand relationship, as a customer’s perception of a brand is formed consciously and subconsciously.
Shop A may do this one thing whilst shop B does that other thing, but I’d rather go with shop C as they do this, that and the other, all in one. Basically you need to impress your customers in order to retain and convert to sale – and the experience is at the heart of this.
Visual Merchandising and In-Store Experience
Visual merchandising has been and still is one of the more important aspects of a store. Many brands have no fear in going the extra mile to create an immersive shopping experience, as they’re all so aware of the positive effects it has on attracting customers and creating a brand loyalty.
Looking at some examples.
In 2015, Topman collaborated with Nick Grimshaw for the launch of a new product range at their flagship Oxford Circus store. The launch was turned into an event with a live DJ, a personalised service where you could design your own sunglasses as well as t-shirts, and a VIP party.
Topman’s in store experience surpassed that of their usual experience. The live music being mixed gave the store a club atmosphere, adding to this air of fun as the DJ entertained the customers with live music at the centre of the first floor, chairs were laid out and drinks were provided making it a mini concert in the heart of oxford street – Imagine the surprise and aww a new customer can experience if this is first time in a Topman store.
Another great example is Burberry. As a high end retailer, they do not fall short of expectations and they do not follow suit but remain classic with their approach to visual merchandising. Burberry knows how to set the tone with quality and class, flying mannequins, life size trees made of Burberry bags, and striking campaign images to elevate the products. The props they use are made to strike a conversation.
Products are neatly folded and feel too good to touch but that is part of the experience because when you buy Burberry you buy the experience.
Selfridges window display is another to talk about, constantly changing tapping into all form of creativity. It has become a main attraction for tourist and passes-by. Above are some recent displays. This is an example of when good shopping experience pans out from offline to online as customers are bound to share images on social sites mixing technology with their shopping experience – a direction that is going to increase due to the leverage online has to spread a message.
As we can see the customer experience can certainly help with the attraction, discovery, awareness, of a brand and it’s product, but this doesn’t always lead to a purchase, for this, retailers need to go over and beyond to connect the dots between what a customer sees and what they don’t buy. But the question still stands, how do you connect this experience after the store visit to ensure the customer has all the information needed to easily complete the purchase when ready or better still remain in mind when the customer is ready to purchase?
These are questions some brands are actively looking at and Shopcinity is working on answering this question, through a mobile app where customers can scan and store products onto a single wish list that gives them access to all the products they are interested in order to revisit or purchase at their own convenience. Alongside this, customers get personalised offers based on their needs and situations with notifications about the availability of the products in nearby stores, price and other similar notifications. These are just some of the services Shopcinity offers with its upcoming app. So watch this space.
So it’s time to amplify your shopping experience!
Keep to date on facebook, twitter, and sign up at shopcinity.com.