In the last decade e-commerce has been gaining ground on traditional retail with the help of last-mile delivery services like Amazon, Instacart, Uber and Postmates. Less foot traffic has resulted in declining revenues and profitability. Retail executives have scrambled to arrest this fall by spending time and money to build omnichannel sales strategies through acquisitions and partnerships with e-commerce competitors.
But after doing all these retailers are surviving but not thriving. To differentiate from e-commerce and myriad of other omnichannel competitors, retail needs to get back to the basics and leverage its physical locations.
“Know yourself and you will win all battles”
– Sun Tzu
This is where experiential retail comes in. Retail cannot compete with e-commerce on number of SKUs or its “on the couch” check-out process, Instead retailers should look to create experiences and provide ancillary product services that customers cannot find online. What these experiences or ancillary services look like would depend on product you are selling.
- Creating dedicated branded spaces to feature products from same brand together.
- i.e. Best Buy approach of renting floor area to Apple products
- Setup spaces to help customer visualize how product will fit or improve their life.
- i.e. Ikea approach of creating demo living room, kitchens or bedrooms to show how different items will fit together
- Providing before and after sales services for products you are selling
- i.e. stitching or custom fitting services for clothing
- Organizing in-store events
- i.e. Lululemon’s free and paid workout classes, run clubs etc.
Offering experiential retail like above in handful of stores is difficult but not impossible without using dedicated space planning and merchandising software but when you have to scale this model to tens, hundreds or thousands of stores organizing physical spaces will be a disaster if you only rely on email, sketch files or AutoCAD files to convey changes to your retail locations.
If you’d like to learn more how a dedicated space planning software like Pogtale can help, Drop us a line, and we will show you how we can help streamline your workflows.