According to figures from the latest NRF, more than 60% of pure players have already opened physical shops. It’s a trend that responds to an image requirement, to increasing loyalty, and also prolonging the client experience. We’ve been to have a look around.
Deliveroo Food Market
The famous meal delivery platform opened the Deliveroo Food Market in Hong Kong at the end of 2018. The giant food court houses five of the trendiest restaurants in the megalopolis. The client just has to choose from the different specialities, from Shanghai noodles to Hawaiian fish. He can then decide to stay and eat or to have the food delivered. While it’s nothing new to bring together different types of food under the same roof, the advantage is that it comes from a major force on the web, known for having based its economic model on dematerialisation and uberisation.
An effective link from the online experience.
But why bother with “walls”? Quite simply because bricks and mortar are emerging as an effective step in the path of growth.
Take a look at Le Slip Français.
The DNVB (Digital Native Vertical Brand) has just opened its 16th store and now generates no less than 25% of its turnover from its physical network (over 20 million euros in 2018).
Moreover, these shops are designed to capture the spirit of the website. You find the brand’s products, as well as the details and the reception that make a real difference and boost preference and fidelity to the brand….as much in its shops as on its website.
A real meeting place.
In France, only 13% of clothing is bought on-line. Physical contact with the client, as well as the advice and relationship are weighted as heavily in the choice of a physical implantation. Meeting clients can also be beneficial in terms of product development. The range of shorts for woman from Slip Français was brought in following repeated requests from on the ground. Requests that the website would never been able to sense.
The Sézane apartment.
You also find this idea with the young, Parisian, ready to wear label, Sézane, in its concept stores called “L’appartement”.
Here the location acts as a showcase to the collections, but also prolongs the customer experience in-store through personalised services and tiny details such as a concierge who facilitates collections and returns.
Even if today the brand reaches 90% of its turnover via the web, the window that these flagship stores give to the brand no doubt contributes to these figures.
A model that should be developed?
Without a doubt. Not only does an actual physical presence bring a differentiating value in a world where competition is increasingly fierce. It also reassures the clients and the financial markets. These shops certainly have test value. They are only rolled out if they find their market. Here we’re talking about Amazon and Amazon Go. The brand is planning to open 3,000 points of sale between now and 2021.
Photo credit : Sézane