Monthly Tonic - Issue 02
You need to do more than just create a ‘good’ retail experience. Designing the ‘right’ experience demands that it is ‘works’ for the business, the brand, the customer and the staff.
This month we have been discussing the difference between designing a GOOD retail experience and designing the RIGHT retail experience. There are plenty of discussions that define the critical elements of what good experience can be. Still, these fail to take into account that every brand has its own unique set of customers that arrive with their own expectations of the retail experience. Designing the RIGHT retail experience draws from these GOOD experiences to make sure they are relevant to the particular needs of the business, the brand, the customers and the staff.
Below you will find some insights that link to supporting articles that have helped the Quinine team understand how we design the RIGHT retail experiences.
What makes a good retail experience? The right retail experience depends on your customers’ needs and expectations. NPD's article discusses different models of good retail experiences. You may choose to use one of these, or combine a mixture of several of these, to create the right experience for your brand.
In another sense, a good retail experience is a vessel to interact with the essence of a brand; it's where a brand becomes authentic. Method's article discusses a concept called the brand loop; a brand makes a promise, and an experience becomes the proof of that promise.
Bricks and mortar retail is still about face to face interactions. Today more than ever, the right store experience has a digital layer that connects the moments along a pathway to purchase, but the digital marketplace will never replace face-to-face human contact. This Forbes article highlights the necessity of great face-to-face customer service and its relationship with customer satisfaction.
Location, Location, Location! There is no doubt that the right store experience changes with location. Brands are increasingly developing different sized formats and adapted concepts that respond to the location. And we see brands increasingly relying on smaller, more local store formats, for market expansion. Another great Forbes article looks at how smaller stores shouldn’t be a watered-down version of larger stores, but a more personalised tailored experience for a local market.
Staff can make it right! Store employees are such a crucial element in providing the right experience. What is often overlooked when designing an optimal experience is ensuring your staff are prepared or empowered to play their role in creating the right experience for a brand. Retail Touchpoints' article touches on the importance of staff in-store experience and the store providing the right tools for its employees.
Changing customer expectations. Understanding the ever-changing expectations of the customer is key to designing the right retail experience. While consumers now identify themselves with brands more deeply than ever before, societies trust in traditional ‘life pillars’ such as religion and government is weakening. The Retail Prophet's powerful opinion piece discusses how society is now looking to brands for social issues and benchmarks in morality.
All of these insights (and many more) fed into the recent talk I gave at EuroShop, which highlighted seven factors that are important to consider when designing the right retail experience for your brand, business, customers and staff. You can read the article or download the talk here.
I hope you find these helpful. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to discuss further.
Kind regards Ian
In Quinine's ‘Monthly Tonic' newsletter, we share the key articles, reports and research studies that are driving the conversations we are having here in the studio. Each newsletter is based around a single theme that extends beyond retail to explore broader social and cultural influences shaping the changing world around us. We share a range of insights, perspectives and points of view that are positively impacting the direction we are heading and the discussions we are having with our clients. The following newsletter was shared with all our friends, clients and Quinine community members. If you would like to receive our next issue, please sign up here!