Experimenting varieties in retail is nothing new. 2017 has witnessed many of such experiments to attract customers and has made a bunch of success stories. Most of the initiatives were new to the retail world and were widely accepted. Needless to say, AI and AR are the main innovations that made many of the initiatives more effective. Taking a look at few best brick and mortar initiatives would be definitely inspiring.
Interesting Brick and Mortar Initiatives
Bulk Market- London
In a world with overflowing landfills, waste management is a huge problem. Each day, the amount of plastic wastes generated is growing up. In our way back from stores, we are compelled to contribute more to the heap of plastic.
London’s Bulk Market has come up with a solution to this. Stuffs arranged in glass jars offers pleasure to the eyes as well as remain a thing of joy to the nature lovers. With its Zero waste challenge, Bulk Market is the first retail market to come up with such an idea. Bulk Market stocks more than 300 items in the pop-up shop and it’s not just food. This Zero Waste Grocery Store, has a collection of almost all items from grains, pulses, oil, cream etc. The store also has bamboo toothbrushes, paper-wrapped toilet roll and even dog food.
None of the products belong to particular brands so that they are not covered in the plastic covers with brand names. All the products are either collected locally or made on site. Products like cakes are collected from certain initiatives for vulnerable women and many other produce are collected from local projects.
Tom Fords Standalone Beauty Store
Experimenting a combination of glamour and technology, Tom Ford’s Standalone Beauty Store offers a new experience to the customers. The whole retail store is divided into colour room, fragrance room and a make-up room. Each room offers unique and enhanced shopping experience to the visiting customers.
In the colour room, a wide variety of colours and shades are available, which the customers can virtually try on using the augmented reality. The fragrance room offers an interactive scenting installation, where visitors can digitally experience the scents of the collection. The fragrance room is followed by Make-up room that offers personalised beauty services by Tom Ford’s beauty specialist. The store even has a VIP room and a Grooming room.
It is a venture focusing the teenagers, which clearly proves to have realized the needs and interests of youth. The teen apparel retailer, American Eagle Outfitters has opened a store with an intention of attracting teenagers to spend a long time with them. They are experimenting all possible ways to keep the teenagers in store for a long. With a high focus on jeans, they have a collection of American Eagle’s denim products. Besides this, they have a Maker’s Shop, where the customers can get their customised jeans products stitched. With this facility, they try to provide a highly personalised experience to the customers.
Visiting AE Studio not only give you an opening to the jeans collection, but a refreshing space to hang out. The studio bar and seating area in the store provide the teenagers with a space to spend their time, or even study. The store also offers iPads in dressing rooms to serve as “digital concierges.” Also, charging facilities are provided in the store.
The store also offers an unusual facility of doing laundry there. This facility is mostly utilised by the teenagers. In short, with a wide range of facilities, the store attracts the teenagers and tend them to remain there for a long time.
Imagine running a store 24X7 with no registers or staffs!! A store into which you can just enter, pick up the stuffs in need and leave!! The concept is far from dreams. Wheely’s Moby Mart has experimented this idea and found successful.
The store is open any time and shoppers can open and close the doors with an app. It can move around, and is secured using various smart cameras. These self-driving stores that can navigate to different locations make use of Artificial Intelligence. Customers just have to open up the store using the app installed in their mobile devices, pick up the items, scan them using phone and put them in the cart. The rate of the items purchased would automatically get deducted from the bank account connected to the phone.
World’s first sustainable smart street, the Bird Street of London offers a sustainable and innovative shopping experience. It is considered as a relaxation spot as well as a place where the future of retail can be experienced. Pop-up stores are opened in Bird Street’s brightly colored pods, which resembles the shape of origami birds.
Pavegen technology is used to generate electricity, which powers the sound of recorded birds’ songs in the street during day and the strings of lights in the night. Also, the wall paints are designed in such a way that they purifies the air around. In short, Birds street can also be considered as a place to relax and have fresh breath.
Target’s Richmond store
Target has opened its innovative design of Brick-and-Mortar stores, addressing two different types of customers. Busy shoppers entering the store just to pick up the things in need can step into the ‘ease’ door. In this part, items are arranged as in a super market, from which customers can directly pick up required materials. Most ‘grab-and-go’ items like groceries, prepared meals etc. could be collected from this part.
The second door ‘Inspiration’ is open to the customers who have enough time to experience a department store. Customers can have a cup of coffee and wander inside the store, experience various apparel, cookware and seasonal decor and select according to their choice.
The Data Dollar store
How much secrets do each have in their personal belongings, say mobile device? Answer might be different for different people. Fact is that each one is having their own secrets and how much they value it is important. To make the visitors aware of how important their personal data is, cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab came up with a pop up store- Data Dollar store.
The store offered products in exchange to the personal data. For example, shoppers could own a mug only by exchanging three photos, or screenshots of Whats App, SMS and email conversations to Kaspersky. To buy the t-shirt, it had to be the last three photos on the Camera Roll or the last three messages on your phone.
At first look, though it seems so simple, exchanging the personal data is really difficult on having a deep look at it. Thus, Kaspersky could teach shoppers, the necessity of cyber security especially since most of them exchange a number of personal data over internet.
Though this would not mark any future in commerce, these types of innovative marketing ideas can do a lot in the retail industry.
Far from conventional methods, experimenting such innovative ideas in retail industry is important and it can bring out great changes in years ahead.