Our Retail Safaris create bespoke, structured, challenging and value adding visits to a range of European cities. We’ll take your retail city visit to a whole new level and ensure actionable insights are identified – as well as having memorable and fun days facilitated by industry leaders and/or channel specialists.
“The degree of Omni-channel integartion in the UK and its many shopping journey combinations provided clear direction where all retail markets are heading” – Motvi e-commerce.
In Sping 2016 we took Italian client Motivi on one of our famous retail safaris! It looks like the high street is catching up with digital innovation, with stores positioning themselves well in the omnichannel marketplace. Digital screens, featuring full product ranges and/or customized products for order, are now becoming commonplace. Here’s what we found…
Our first stop? Coffee, and the first Starbucks digital concept in the UK (second in the world after Seattle), which opened in October 2015 to complement the launch of their Click & Collect app service. As with the app, the objective is to cut queuing time – you don’t go to the counter; their waiter comes to you and takes your order via an iPad instead. As well as the digital ordering system there are digital screens and projections replacing the standard Starbucks displays, giving it a really sleek appearance. You can even charge your devices with one of their wireless chargers at each table if you’re running low on juice!
Next we stopped by Audi’s first digital car dealership in the world! We don’t know why nobody thought of this before, as it really solves the space issues that are typical of retailers who need to showcase large products. They’ve implemented interactive digital technologies, like the Microsoft Kinect motion sensor wall display which uses two cameras alongside infrared lasers (invisible to the naked eye) to recognise body shapes and movement. The result is that you can customize your dream car, make it move, and hear the sound of the engine – neat! See Motivi checking out the cars below – time for an upgrade? Coupled with the large-screen product videos we really didn’t feel like we were missing out on having every single model available to view in person.
Walking down Regent Street we powered up our Regent Street app so we could see how they’re doing with their iBeacon technology. We headed for Burberry, well known for its Regent Street flagship where heritage meets innovation. Their store layout is impressive – two sweeping staircases nestle a giant digital screen between them, on this occasion streaming a video of artisans hand-weaving the classic Burberry scarf (below left). They really play on the brand’s (and your) senses – an integrated sound system creates the theatrical illusion of being in a different environment, with content changing in unison across all screens and stereos. Elsewhere, huge digital screens and panels showcase the latest collection and give insight and storytelling of the traditional world of Burberry (below right). We were also shown their magic mirror – which worked this time – scan a garment’s barcode and you can see it on the catwalk in all its glory, or how it fits a digital model!
At Karl Lagerfeld they’ve created an interactive and social store thanks to fitting room selfie iPads that enable immediate sharing of the cute outfits you’re trying on (Both the TRP and Motivi teams had a bit of fun with this!). Then on to the sportswear mecca of Nike Town – Nike has installed giant digital panels, live sports news walls, and even social media feeding streaming up one wall. Their popular, customizable NikeID range has it’s own bar on the ground floor, encouraging new visitors to play around with the shoes and leave with a bespoke pair of trainers.
On to womenswear retailer Oasis, where storytelling through digital screens reinforces the brand personality – Oasis’s main values are playfulness, girly-ness, a love for nature and animals, and bold prints. Vintage-style frames hang on the wall, housing digital screens showing videos, animations, and cameras to take selfies (we love a good selfie).
The Pro:Direct LDN19 concept store is (apparently) the world’s biggest boot camp and online sportswear retailer turned into physical store. It’s completely digitalized, following same design as their website, with virtual models demonstrating clothing fit, product information displayed on digital panels, live football news on the digital wall, and even FIFA game in store for customer entertainment. Is this a store or a fun house?! We’ll never be able to tear the boys away.
Next up, Westfield Stratford, where interactive screens at their entrance aid customer navigation, and they’ve created a personalized shopping experience with a Westfield app as well as the Doddle Click & Collect service. Argos was our first stop and an interesting one; as a long-time member of the UK high street we’ve watched them transform from a traditional catalogue store to a cutting-edge digital retailer. They’ve replaced all those clunky books with easy-navigation tablets, and a Fast Track queue lets people come in to the store and collect order (even on the same day!). Smooth.
At department store John Lewis they’ve jumped on the outfit-building bandwagon (see M&S, Tommy Hilfiger) with interactive screens which enable website browsing, check product reviews, delivery options, and help customers find inspiration to build personalised outfits. We tried “4 ways to wear check” in their menswear section which showed us suggestions on how to match checked trousers to other products & accessories which you could find in store. There’s also buying guides that explain all about products – always educate the customer!
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