Pre corona virus the term “instore experience” had a slightly different meaning to what I think the new post isolation version will evolve into.
As a retail designer giving BC (before Corona) examples, I would list
-make up demonstrations as your walk thru a department store
-staff that can suggest the exact type of clothing that suits you so well you end up buying the whole outfit.
-cranking music in the hip clothing stores that perfectly matches the image they wish to portray
-the luxurious smell of perfumes as you enter a store and elevates you to another level.
-trendy hair salons were the staff are the same level of cool that you aspire to when you walk in for your big transformation
- food tastings/demos in the supermarket
- your favourite furniture store showing room settings and vignettes in exactly the way that you would like to recreate them at home.
- amazing staff that greet you on an such a personal level that you feel you’ve instantly gelled with them.
Instore experience is often spoken about in the highest echelons of retail board rooms, but not always successfully achieved on the actual shop floor. All retailers think they can offer it, but they don’t always have the magic X factor to pull it off. I can design great looking stores but if the staff have bad attitudes the customers will remember that long after the incredible fitout.
So how might post isolation instore experience pan out? The staff free Amazon stores have ideas that can be built upon. Let’s put the thinking caps on for some more ideas!
- Provision of entertainment outside the store while people are queuing. Keeping potential customers happy is important and keeping them happy and remaining in the que is key. Perhaps a busker of some type.
- Taking temps pre-entry is becoming more normal, perhaps this can be done in some fun step in booth that doesn’t make you feel like you are having a medical examination.
- A buzzer system on your phone that tells you when a change room is ready, so you don’t have to que.
- More counter-less stores. Having staff that move around with tap and go handheld devices to prevent queuing at counters.
- Self-serve wrap bars that dispense bags to minimize on handling.
- Convenient pick up points, whether it’s counters, dedicated car spots outside for staff to run out or the embracing of free local deliveries.
All the wonderful senses like smell and sound can still be incorporated. Having great staff will always be a positive. I’m looking forward to seeing what ideas retailers come up with.