These 6 Retailers Are Winning Back Customers With A New Shopping Experience
The retail industry has experienced a series of groundbreaking changes over the past few years due to the rise of dominant e-commerce players like Amazon, and the need for brick-and-mortar retailers to diversify their offerings to keep pace with consumers' buying patterns.
Some retailers have broken away from the traditional model completely to deliver customer experiences that go beyond stacking racks and shelves with inventory, and instead are offering service-oriented features, augmented reality and customized products.
Check out six retailers that are switching things up to remain in the running in 2018.
Toys R Us
Toys R Us has faced difficult circumstances over the last year with sales declining an estimated 15% in 2017 compared to 2016. But the toy retailer is not going down without a fight. In the fall the company began testing a new augmented reality app that would allow consumers to play augmented reality games on their phones while in Toys R Us stores, Chain Storage reports.
The free app, called Play Chaser, was created in collaboration with PlayFusion and can be used by scanning dedicated signage points throughout Toys R Us stores. Each point offers an experience and allows visitors to play games like shooting virtual basketball hoops or playing with a digital You & Me doll.
The concept aims to encourage visitors not just to shop, but to play in stores while experiencing the products as well.
Nordstrom is breaking the traditional brick-and-mortar retail mold in a big way.
The luxury department store chain has opted to ditch inventory in its new concept called Nordstrom Local, which offers services like manicures, tailoring and wine.
Nordstrom Local in Los Angeles will also offer personal stylists to help customers pick out outfits for special occasions like job interviews or vacations. They can then order the items online from the store and pick them up at a later date.
This is not the first time the retailer has tested a new concept in an effort to stand out from its competition. In 2016, it held pop-up shops across the nation that offered beauty products, phone charging stations and photo booths at festivals around the country. The marketing ploy was a push to attract more millennials, who tend to spend more money on experiences than material goods.
Disney wants customers to engage in interactive experiences that transport shoppers into the tales they know and love.
A new store redesign allows brick-and-mortar visitors to act out scenarios from their favorite movies, like fighting Darth Vader or talking to characters from Disney and Pixar films.
The stores, which are being tested in California, Japan and Shanghai, also feature live streams of theme park parades so customers can get involved in events even if they are not physically there.
Marie Claire and Mastercard Inc. teamed up with Neiman Marcus to offer consumers a new way to shop during the fall of 2017.
The trio opened a temporary shop in New York’s SoHo neighborhood with touch-screen mirrors that allow customers to browse through products without having to confer with a sales representative, Bloomberg reports.
The mirrors were even placed in change rooms so customers could request different sizes or colors and purchase the items without having to leave.
The concept aims to increase customer convenience, which is a growing concern among modern consumers who can shop quickly and efficiently online.
American Eagle opted to provide customers with a customized retail experience when it rolled out a prototype store that allows shoppers to make their own jeans.
AE Studio opened in November in Union Square, New York, with a primary focus on denim products. The store also offers a studio bar, a seating area and a laundry room so patrons, many of whom are students, can study while doing their laundry, CNBC reports.
The store also features iPads in dressing rooms in order to improve convenience by acting as digital concierges for shoppers.
Indochino is built around the concept of putting consumers in charge of what they wear and how they wear it. Customers are encouraged to design their own outfits and can choose everything from the texture of a suit to the color, number of buttons and pockets. Each piece is also made to measure to ensure a perfect fit.
While Indochino has been busy rolling out new showrooms including an upcoming store in Nashville, Tennessee, the concept is multichannel in its approach to allow customers to get the full experience online, on their mobile devices or in person in a showroom.
Much like Neiman Marcus and American Eagle, the brand strives to make shopping as fun and convenient as possible for its customers.