April 13, 2018

GREAT WAYS TO LIVE UP YOUR PHYSICAL STORES

It is sad to hear that my favorite brand, New Look, closing their store. This store has been my must visit one whenever I am going to malls. See that they were having this big discount in February to celebrate a farewell to you?
But it is not happening only to New Look but other retailers such as Clarks, Gap, Lotus, Debenhams which definitely caused many lay-offs. Sad to hear it since I love Clarks 😞 You can read the complete news at Nikkei Asian Review and Jakarta Post.



Indeed, we will still be able to find New Look collection in ecommerce such as mapemall.com, and other fashion brands online. But I personally enjoy offline store. I love to walk, have my eyes entertained and touch the stuffs! Some said that one of reasons for store to shut down is the sales decline. So, why does this force them to shut down stores but still keep online one to stay?

"Some economists point to a more fundamental reason driving the brands out of business,  a change in consumer behavior. Indonesians are no longer spending on clothes... Instead, they have been saving up and spending more on experiences such as traveling." --- Nikkei Asia Review

"E-commerce has been a hot topic in Indonesia thanks to Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Rocket’s Lazada, and online transportation Gojek, Grab, and Uber—for making it possible to shift the purchasing behavior of Indonesian people from offline retailer to online platform." --- Jakpat, 2017.

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So, if it is the start for ecommerce, does it implicitly mean it is the dead end for the brick and mortar store?

It is sad to see physical stores are gone. Because honestly, I prefer to shop fashion offline. I once had not so good experience to buy fashion online. I bought shirts in an e-commerce named *peeeeeppppppppp* and the goods came to me like there was no tomorrow. Regardless of me not being a good and thorough shopper, most goods were unfit with my body figure, not mentioning the sizing that was not match with expectation. Trying my second luck to buy other stuffs like bags and shoes. Well, they were better products though but only lasted for few months despite of its low quality---I just pick the greatest product design from random seller. I might say I am old school but I do enjoy buying clothes offline for having its real see, touch, try experiences and preventing some product failure, like what I have experienced online ---long time ago



While traditional retail in our country are collapsing, some conditions might be different for innovative brands in China and US. Here some notes:

1. Having a seamless online and offline experience


All three case studies mostly rely on how possible it is to maintain even improve store by integrating digital and offline experiences. Many that we can learn here: 1) The product storytelling in the store is the traction for the visitors 2)The ease of digital payment transaction and fulfillment even make it more convenient 3)Mobile-oriented activity takes customer closer to you. 

2. Ramping out on the branding and selling offline-exclusive products
Not going so technology-driven yet? Don't worry. You can still maximize the store to speak more about your brand and improving experiences at the same time. Vulcan Post in 2015 taking Apple Store in Singapore as the example, where it is designed are just like their products – minimalist and clean, and this falls in very well with their branding, one that many consumers have fallen in love with over the years.


Well, for local market, we can take the blooming Instagram-able coffee shop as the example to make every store visit an experience. Great decoration and ambience, live music every Friday and weekend nights, where you can spend only one cup of coffee and thousands of selfie pictures within three hours. 😋 Don't you want your brick and mortar store has similar visitors that most likely convert the visit to purchase?

Aside of the beautiful or branded store decoration, selling offline-exclusive products can be another traction. Take a look at the grand opening of H&M handing out hundred (or thousand) of limited vouchers attracting people to do a long queue line (watch video 00:30). Can you imagine the crazy queue?


3. Having attractive shows,  (not a so long-term strategy, don't you think so?)
Everyone knows that both Vivo or Oppo are famous with its massive store distribution in all over Indonesia. The store is often spiced up with traction such as dancing mascots and staffs. It is crazy enough to get people around watching, sometimes with some sparks of drama. LOL. Great.



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While having the technology like HEMA may be too challenging to execute in our local market, we can still play the game well. Take a look at OPPO, Vivo and H&M with the 101 traction such as the stage show and vouchers. Even a great store decoration like Apple can trigger customers to stay longer and probably make new or additional purchase. Don't forget Burberry with its real time digital customer service and mobile-oriented activation. Sitting on the couch at home feels like being invited as the top priority front row guest at Burberry fashion show where you can definitely sit with Anna Wintour. And hey! We can copy this with our favorite Instagram Story! 🙈

It is easier to be said/written rather to be done. But a little bit playful and experimental, can be fun. Think about how continuous creativity in even small footstep can be a game-changing turn for your brand. See you in the next post!

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