Lego's immersive store experience is the first of its kind in China.

Mood Media, an in-store media solutions company with more than global 500,000 subscribers, conducted a study across 40 countries to identify the emerging global trends for in-store customer experiences.

Via immersive visits and analysis at brand storefronts with mass appeal such as Tommy Hilfiger in London or Nike by Melrose, as well as lesser-known spaces such as Silver Deer, Mexico’s most famous luxury concept store, four key trends were revealed for the coming year: greater customization; brand immersion; the store as community, and convenience that is redefined.

Pinpointing further customization opportunities, Scott Moore, global senior vice president of marketing and creative content at Mood Media, nods to Lip Lab, a custom cosmetics pop-up from Bite Beauty based in New York, providing that “the ability to sit directly across from a specialist and work together to create your very own, uniquely you shade of lipstick is a truly elevated Customer Experience.”

On a similar storefront, Nike’s flagship in New York is connecting customized experiences allowing preference in every aspect of shoe color and design — and made to fit one’s perfectly unique foot measurement. All of this “makes for a really powerful, and valuable, in-store experience,” according to Moore.

Looking further into the store as an immersive rendition of a brand as well as a community, Moore cites one necessary element of community — brand purpose. “The element of community is increasingly necessary, particularly among younger consumers who hold brands accountable for living their greater purpose, a purpose that goes well beyond what one sells,” said Moore. Examples of communities with purpose included Patagonia servicing customers with products that assume environmental stewardship, and by closing the stores on Election Day, a deeper purpose is communicated to young consumers.

Elevated in-store experience in the coming year may be leveraged by automated commerce, or a-commerce, as noted in Mood’s report, representing voice or facial recognition. Going hand in hand with consumer need for personalization, the ability to offer personalized product recommendations or services, will be advanced by a-commerce. But the level of personalization will differ by big-box store or local boutique, with the latter using more local touch points, day-to-day considerations, such as weather conditions, and relying on personal human connection.

Across the report, pop-up shops and art installations, with luxury jewelers mirroring convenience stores or click-and-collect opportunities alongside live video streaming, the consumer is invited to not only enter the store, but stick around and take pictures for social media.

But when asked of the risk for customers gaining “social proof” then leaving, Jaime Bettencourt, senior vice president of business development and account management at Mood Media mentioned that, “Ultimately, if a retail environment encourages people to spend more time in the store, then there’s a greater likelihood that they will also purchase items.” That’s the climate of the modern retail model, wherein rapport is built first, loyalty is gained and a purchase may come later, if not immediately.

So based on the report, who’s leading the pack for in-store excellency? Valentina Candeloro, marketing director at Mood Media International, said, “One of the most interesting outtakes from the global trend book is actually the fact that no single region is leading the way with in-store experiences.” With that being said, Candeloro invites a watchful eye over Oceania, referencing their mix of Anglo-Saxon influences and proximity to Asia, contributing to “a very advanced understanding of retail.”

Further, consistency is a main key of success for omnichannel strategies. Across online, brick-and-mortar, pop-up shops and social media, all need to be “consistent, personalized and memorable,” according to Bettencourt, senior vice president of business development and account management at Mood Media.

The best advice for retailers hoping to reinvent their brands, and thus in-store experience, may be best to pack a suitcase and shop the global market.

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