Four unlikely sources for retail inspiration

Four unlikely sources for retail inspiration

Your shoppers aren’t satisfied anymore just filling their carts with groceries; they want a shopping experience that’s exciting, dynamic and entertaining. A recent article by Alexander Grensteidl points retailers to the following four domains they might not have traditionally looked to for inspiration.

Shoppers are overwhelmed with choices and are looking to retailers to help them narrow their selection. Grensteidl points to Nordstrom’s recent 8 percent same-store sales increase as resulting from a magazine-like online experience enabling shoppers to obtain merchandise information and then use an easy reserve-for-pick-up feature.

Natural products store translation: In addition to a robust website with staff department picks, inform customers of your store’s buying standards. For example, busy parents will delight to know that none of your kids’ snack products contain high fructose corn syrup—you’ve edited their choices down making shopping quicker and easier.

Ten years ago the fashion shopper typically hit stores seasonally to change up style, according to Grensteidl .Today, clothing stores change it up constantly by introducing new looks throughout the seasons and keep it fresh with frequent store layout redos and merchandise turnover, he says.

Natural products store translation: Bring in more seasonal products or stagger them. Costco has been doing the latter since day one with great success—treasure hunt anyone?

3. Hospitality
Chain stores are creating a comfortable venue to engage in sampling, learning or relaxing. Consider Apple stores that welcome customers to spend as much time as they’d like trying out the products and getting friendly advice from a “Genius”. Bookstore behemoths like Borders have also mastered the hospitality model and become modern day libraries with chairs and tables and refreshments inviting shoppers into living room settings.

Natural products store translation:
Create an experience in your store that encourages browsing such as creative music mixes, free coffee and tea and a literature area that begs hanging out.

Grensteidl points to the traveling Rapha Cycle Club pop-up that’s combination gallery, cycling shop and café. The club organizes events around cycling races and is a meeting hub for biking enthusiasts.

Natural products store translation: Contact local schools and offer to have an employee serve a branded dessert from your bakery or hand out packaged goods. Get out into your community with a booth at local farmers’ markets and entertainment events.

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