Continuous brand experiences – The future of retail
The future of retail is continuous retail. Think the digitally connected showroom space where continuous brand experiences blur the boundaries between online and offline retail.
Hailed as the first true digital generation, Generation D with their purchasing power rising to become the single largest group of consumers. Brands need to prepare themselves by expertly blending social, e-commerce and in-store experiences to create continuous brand experiences.
Brands like Tom Ford and Burberry are among the first to react by introducing a radically new, direct to consumer model. They are bringing product from the catwalk straight into the store with their See-now Buy-now Collection. This overcomes logistical nightmares and traditional industry wide standard operating procedure and brings the collection closer to the consumer.
G Star now invite you “Meet the family” opening up their head office on-line to introduce you to the people who bring “Raw” to life.
Here you can take a tour, meet the designers, shop the look and even enter the brand archive experiencing how G Star constantly evolves its product. These brands have stopped thinking about their product and services as sole intellectual property of the in-house creatives. They are making the consumer part of a collaborative art of creation.
Active online communities become co-creators of the brand meaning consumers are now more informed, brand and product savvy than ever, before they enter the store. Some foot traffic may be down but average spend is rising as loyal customers are more committed to a purchase.
The digital culture has prioritised speed and efficiency. Retail payments through mobile devices ease the shopping process and allow retailers to track customer browsing history and use data to send personal services messages and offers.
The future of retail is continuous retail and continuous brand experiences
Digital and e-commerce is freeing traditional stores up from the restriction of transaction.
Stores will become brand portals, product showrooms, event and theatre spaces allowing consumers to experience brands and products before they buy. We are experiencing a new wave of stores, pop ups and events that sell content and context. Brands are finding new ways to create desire and new terms of engagement.
Burberry’s recent London fashion week show marked the first time the public could buy designs online and in-store immediately. This was run in conjunction with the Burberry Makers House “methods materials and makers” exhibition within a physical space in London’s Soho. The public and online community were invited into the heart of the brand using carefully placed storytelling.
Physical retail stores offer space and time. The future of retail is a place where stores will become communal hubs which offer brand collaborations, storytelling, mixing art and exhibition. Rather than traditional brand flagships, think concept stores such as Dover Street Market in London, 10 Corso Como in Milan or Queen Mama Market in Seoul. In these spaces brands have flexible spaces where brands can collaborate, exhibit and evolve without the constrictive restraints of traditional retail and brand guidelines.
At gpstudio we create continuous brand experiences. Our recent projects for beauty brand, Fabled (a collaboration between Ocado and Marie Claire) and our launch of the Made.com store in Paris aim to seamlessly link the digital and physical world. We are creating digitally connected stores. Navigation is at eye level where products can be touched and accessed, tried and tested, and appreciate their aesthetic and scale, purchased later online and delivered to your door. Dwell time is crucial, allowing the consumer to fully immerse in the brand through physical interaction.
The physical transaction is digital and customer data is collected nurturing loyalty and personalisation and community.
The physical stores of the future have a role to provide product and brand experience with a sense of place and community and sit seamlessly along side the digital world as a new point of engagement for the brand.
The Future of Retail – Continuous Brand Experiences