In our November round-up, we explore the future of retail and its impact on the modern shopper and the latest ways that brands are using experience to add value and drive footfall. We review the new and innovative technology that is changing the way we shop and how we live and evaluate the trends redefining the grocery sector this November.
Sainsbury’s is set to boost their beauty department by doubling the size of its beauty range, offering shoppers a selection of 3,000 products. Shopper will be able to try out new brands such as Essie, Tweezerman and Dr. PawPaw. The supermarket giant will then be tapping into the evolving vegan market by launching 100 vegan-friendly products. In addition to this, Sainsbury’s has partnered with The Fragrance Shop to test out concessions in two Sainsbury’s stores in London and Birmingham. This investment in the beauty market comes as supermarkets look for ways to use up space once used for homeware, where sales have fallen behind. With the beauty market set to grow by 16.5% by 2023, it’s clear that Sainsbury’s is acknowledging this growth and prioritising beauty above all else.
Debenhams opens their new impressive store, a space where customers can shop, relax and eat. Their beauty hall includes a Beauty-bar offering pampering treatments including hair care, nails and massages. Shoppers can also shop in the ‘Minibar’ which has sample size beauty products, perfect for travel sized beauty products as well as encouraging shoppers to try new products. For food and drink options, gin lovers will be happy to know there is a pop-up gin bar where they can try a range of cocktails to shake up their shopping experience. Loaf & Bloom will also serve tailored breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. The new concept store really brings to the forefront the importance of shopper experiences. However, it comes in the wake of Debenhams announcing the closure of 50 of their UK stores. We wonder if this new venture is enough to salvage what has already been lost.
M&S Shoppers can now grab and go without having to queue at the checkout. Marks & Spencer’s Mobile, Pay, Go app allows shoppers to use their smartphones as mobile scanners and pay for their items in as little as 40 seconds. The new technology is already being trialled in six London stores ahead of Christmas, including at Waterside Simply Food, where the store sees 20% of its sales from Mobile, Pay, Go with an average of 170 items being sold through the app every hour. M&S is a great example of how stores can use the potential of mobile technology to improve shopping experiences. The app creates a seamless shopping experience and allows shoppers to shorten their time spent in-store, especially during busy lunch periods.
Pop-up stores should take note, Google’s Hardware Store in New York has everything from a Personalisation Station, insight into the creation of their products to a swing set! The main attraction is Google’s Smart Treehouse which lets guests change lights, open blinds, start playing music simply through the sounds of your voice. Before leaving they can ask Google to “take a selfie” on the balcony and “voila!”, the print will appear for you to take home. Google is known for being a brand who push the boundaries of technology, so this pop-up reflects who they are as a company. It is a fun store with a lovely aesthetic and reminds us about the growing important of establishing a strong bond between the customer and brand through amazing shopper experiences.
Popular high street store, H&M elevates the shopping experience through the introduction of their ‘try before you buy’ service. Together H&M and tech start-up Klarna will integrate H&M’s digital and high street stores to give customers a more personalised and seamless experience whether that’s online, through their mobile app or instore. This omni-channel customer payment service also gives shoppers a better delivery and returns process and more flexible payment options. The partnership allows customers to choose how they manage the way they pay over time for a purchase. The service is capturing the attention of millennials in particular, who are able to have more choices as they are not paying anything out of their pockets yet. In contrast to the traditional concept of shopping, this partnership gives customers a new and innovative way to make purchases.
Brands such as Mini Cooper and WeWork are offering their employees experiences which bring a whole new meaning to ‘company culture’. Employees are able to use facilities such as a full service restaurant, fitness studio and see art exhibitions. For example, MINI Cooper’s new initiative workspace provides employees with 23,000 square feet of design space, set with a health restaurant and exhibition space. Other companies, such as WeWork, have introduced wellness clubs including personal training, meditation and spa treatments. These beautifully designed co-working spaces highlight that experiences aren’t becoming a necessity in just the retail space. Companies are now making it a priority to offer their employees the very best experiences. If they don’t, they risk losing talent to companies who are willing to invest in their employees. This is beginning to sound very familiar to retail stores who aren’t willing to invest in customer experiences.
Amazon’s New York store will only stock items that are rated 4-star or above. The store will use technological elements such as digital price tags that will display product information, price and reviews, something which has significantly influenced buying decisions – both positively and negatively. As for the navigation of the store, Amazon 4-star will have sections such as “Most-Wished-For”, “Trending Around NYC” and “Amazon Exclusives”. These trending items are a great way for shoppers to discover popular products knowing they have already been highly rated. Shoppers who have Amazon Prime, will be glad to know that they will receive discounted prices for all items in the store. This brilliant new concept is very different from anything we’ve ever seen before and is a great example of how online shopping is moving into the retail space.
US pharmacy, Walgreens, and popular beauty brand Birchbox have teamed up to create a beautiful and innovative retail space aimed to give shoppers a stress-free shopping experience. Shoppers can enjoy Limited Edition Boxes, Discovery Kits and Build Your Own Birchbox stations, making the shopping experience all the more fun and personalised to each individual. The store will house some of Birchbox’s exclusive and prestige lines such as Winky Lux and Wander Beauty. With 48% of consumers using physical stores as their primary source for finding new makeup products, this collaboration is bringing Birchbox from the online space into the retail landscape. Shoppers will feel more confident about their purchases knowing they have the opportunity to test, swipe and swatch products before buying.
The world’s first ‘pop-up department store’ is coming to Sweden. Aptly named FOMO, Fear Of Missing Out, the store will concentrate directly on the shopper, kitted out with a café, play area for kids, workshops, events, educational talks and exhibitions as part of its programme. The programme ensures that a broad range of products and experiences are constantly changing. This concept is perfectly targeted at the millennial generation who are on the constant look out for new and innovative shopping experiences aimed to disrupt the retail space.
Tesco is using the information from their Clubcard customers to track why shoppers are choosing healthier lifestyles. Their research has shown that 7 in 10 families believe that supermarkets can help them make better nutrition choices. Tesco has made attempts to help people make healthier choices through keeping their supermarket checkouts sweet-free and has given 70 million pieces of free fruit to children instore. Since 27% of Tesco shoppers agree they get confused about what is healthy and unhealthy, supermarkets should be making attempts to educate their customers about healthy eating instore. This is a great example of how a supermarket is helping their shoppers and guiding them to purchase healthier products and improving their lifestyle.
UK supermarkets are struggling to keep up with the demand for vegan food with 22 million flexitarians driving the growth. British supermarket chain Tesco takes charge by selling a huge 4 million meals in 33 weeks with its 20-product vegan range. The range will now double in size to keep up with the high demand for the meals. Tesco will also be the first supermarket in the world to sell a 100% plant-based steak, made from ingredients like wheat and soy. The product sold nearly 40,000 units within a week of its launch. Other key players such as Waitrose also launched their own-brand vegan products, citing an 85% spike in the sale of vegan and vegetarians foods. This soaring growth in vegan food means supermarkets must develop exclusive ranges to get shoppers through their doors.
Big clients. Tender years. Seriously creative work.
Here’s the story so far.