Stores need a reset. But that shouldn’t be a surprise.
Advances in technology have challenged the traditional wholesale model. E-commerce has exploded. Consumers wanted their orders faster, and businesses responded with faster delivery.
What does this mean for physical retail? A brick and mortar makeover.
The acceleration of e-commerce does not diminish the importance of physical commerce. Increasingly, stores will be leveraged to fulfill more of these orders. Additionally, consumers will continue to shop in stores to view, experience and test products.
In fact, stores will remain the biggest and most important channel in the world for years to come, according to sales data from Euromonitor International.
Creative store concepts are emerging all over the world. Retail operators should consider the purpose of their outlets and how these can best serve their broader strategy, such as supporting digital fulfillment or experiential shopping.
In a previous article, I explored three ways retail stores will change in the future. IKEA, DICK’S Sporting Goods and adidas, among other retailers, bring these formats to life.
IKEA fosters a sense of community
IKEA is testing its Home Experience of Tomorrow format in a newly renovated Shanghai store.
A theater-like common area for shoppers to socialize or relax is a standout feature. This store also connects customers through on-site workshops, knowledge sharing sessions and entertainment. The Makers Hub, for example, is a space where customers, employees and local experts can share their skills and work together on circular projects.
Reclusive trends are common in the digital age as consumers gravitate toward devices over each other. But stores can become a place of collaboration and thus generate foot traffic.
DICK’S Sporting Goods is building an experiential playground
DICK’S House of Sport in the USA offers customers the opportunity to test products in real environments.
This store leverages technology and custom features such as an outdoor track, rock climbing wall, and golf simulators, among others, to create a superior customer experience.
Consumers need a reason to visit a store rather than shop online. Testing products in an environment where they would be used provides value beyond what the online channel can currently offer.
adidas turns traditional shopping into in-store
The adidas flagship store in Dubai combines both digital and experiential to inspire creativity and build brand engagement.
This store features RFID smart fitting rooms and premium services like MakerLab, which allows customers to customize products. Shoppers can participate in exclusive yoga sessions or shoot hoops on an in-store basketball court.
adidas embraces omnichannel in this concept, allowing the brand to connect with customers through multiple in-store digital touchpoints.
Redesign the store
In today’s crowded market, your retail strategy must be comprehensive, creative and strategic to reach customers and generate revenue.
In-store and online shopping experiences cannot be considered separate entities. Retailers need to optimize store formats and in-store experiences to better weave physical and digital channels together.