MARKETS


Concept stores, a retail strategy

20/04/2020

CATEGORY: Retail Packaging

Currently, major brands are pursuing a novel retail strategy by opening radically different stores, ones in which innovation and avant-garde designs are key, coupled with unconventional store operations: these are the so-called concept stores, which today have become the ultimate shopping experience.


Ángeles Montecelo

 

 

These novel retail venues are not simply large physical spaces; rather, they represent the pinnacle in brand expression. These are venues that project and display fashion, art and culture in unique environments based on creativity and design. Such venues are intended to be exclusive and inspiring spaces that set the tone for a new way of shopping, and they have revolutionized the world of marketing.

This new store concept aims to highlight the essence and values of a brand, providing an opportunity for strengthening customer relationships. This  owes to the fact that they are not only venues for selling products, they are also places to have a coffee, learn, design specialized products or even take a break; they are places designed for the creation and management of a unique and exclusive experience geared to satisfying consumers who demand more proactive, entertaining, authentic and memorable shopping experiences.

The objective of this type of point of sale goes beyond that of selling a customer a product; they seek to sell a brand image through a novel experience by setting up leisure areas where customers can go to relax and socialize, for example.

 

Retailers are aware that one of the greatest competitors affecting the success of their stores is online commerce, and concept stores are an effective response, serving to create unique, more intimate and impactful experiences for their customers. It is important to note that the prices of online products are usually much lower, a point in favor of online shopping, and for that reason, concept stores have to provide the significant added value that pleasurable environs and a positive and seductive purchase experience can bring.

These brick-and-mortar locales aim to improve customer experiences by combining a variety of products and carefully crafted design lines in an eclectic way, all with the aim of attracting a specific buyer segment.

 

Concept stores should not be confused with the more well-known idea of a flagship store, as while both are designed to stimulate customer action, the latter are intended to make sales and earn money, while the former are emblematic locations that have as their unique mission that of promoting the brand.

 

There are many advantages that this new modality of point of sale has to offer retailers. For example, there is the fact that they allow for combining commercial elements with other services in an effort to provide new forms of expression in the physical world, thus creating much stronger connections with their customers in person, surpassing online commerce. Such concept stores allow retailers to blend shopping with other services that allow for greater closeness to the customer and enhance the enjoyment of shoppers by placing within the same venue a place to have a coffee, or simply hold a enjoyable conversation. This can lead to the rise of a sense of community, which will benefit retailers.

While there is no one-shop formula for creating a concept store, one key factor must be creativity coupled with innovation, always centered on the brand and the experience you wish to convey to customers. In this regard, they are about the creation of spaces that allow for connecting with consumers by taking advantage of the potential of technology; for example, to be able to seamlessly mesh online and physical store presences at the same time.

 

 

It is also imperative that concept stores represent a response to the customer need for change, and this need pushes retailers into a constant cycle of reinvention to seduce otherwise dissatisfied point-of-sale buyers, people who are looking for an experience to be shared across a variety of channels.

 

One of the factors to consider in such venues is decor. Through the use of pleasing or attractive aesthetics at the point of sale, a brand can transmit a clear message that can be grasped by customers and which will also motivate them to want to live the experience. To that end, it is important to be unique and create spaces that break with customer routines, being disruptive with respect to pre-established protocols, providing truly enriching experiences for their customers. For this reason, retailers must be very cautious when adopting any measures which will break with buyer routines (recall that this strategy is a response to customer demand for change), which requires continuous and ongoing innovation to serve the needs of buyers who tire of going to large stores that don't provide them with an experience they can tell their families and friends about when they get home.

 

It is important to understand that, when we talk about concept stores, we cannot fail to mention that authenticity is the key. Hence, the importance of the traditional retailer leaving behind many pre-established concepts and daring to tell stories which are capable of delivering satisfying experiences in order to sell. To achieve this, retailers can employ factors such as choice of design, color selection, creativity and, of course, technology. These, and other tools, provide the retailer with the ability to deliver its customers a new level of satisfaction that will reward the brand with their loyalty and brand advocacy.

 

Ángeles Montecelo

angelesmonteceloseren@gmail.com

www.angelesmontecelo.com

 

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