The old rules of retail no longer apply. Previously successful teen retailers have experienced downfall, due to over-reliance on footfall to shopping malls, failure to adapt quickly enough to the rise of digital platforms and social media and the required interaction between digital and physical spaces. It’s no longer enough to just have an ecommerce site as well as a physical store.
To stay relevant to Generation Z, retailers need to consider:
- A Chief Experience Officer / Customer Experience Director, who will look after the customer journey and utilise data to improve the shopper experience and build real loyalty
- Taking a human-centric approach; understanding their customers, seeing them as human beings and learning what drives them by creating a more fluid and collaborate internal structure
- Making changes more frequently and not underestimating the need for change, anticipating and preparing for it!
- Opening up to consumers in the early stages of product development; they want and now expect to have a say in its development
- Communicating what you stand for – telling your brand’s story and finding out theirs
- Acting more like a start-up; providing alternative innovations alongside continual improvements
- Changing the role and design of your store. Creating compelling brand-led experiences, less focussed on transaction
- Being open, honest and authentic
Every organisation needs to create their own bespoke set of responses to address the needs and nuances of their brand, category and consumer.
Retailers we think are getting it right:
- ASOS is an expert at proactive visibility across all of their social media. They are brave and unconventional in their approach and they let their customers take the lead
- Public Desire engages consumer’s browsing side, with #PDBAE, showing shoes as seen on real people on Instagram whilst they browse on their website
- At Sephora, customers can mix and match their favourite scents to create their own signature performs
- Topshop blends technology into its marketing, stores and shopper experience; the Topshop app gives access to exclusive previews and content from launches
- Converse have introduced ‘Blank Canvas’ bar into their New York store, where customers work alongside designers to create custom Chuck Taylors. They’re tapping into exclusivity, adding an experiential element to drive foot traffic and combining their physical and digital spaces – the customisation area is a real-life iteration of the Blank Canvas capability on Converse.com.
- Digital has become a core component of Burberry’s business – they were among the first to test social media channels and developments as they rolled out: Snapchat and Periscope, and tested Instagram’s video ads and Twitter’s buy buttons. Burberry also went beyond live streaming, and shared shots of the entire collection on Snapchat before it premiered on the runway
- Footlocker launched Sneakerpedia, sharing information and advice on sneakers, gaining authentic respect and credibility on their own, adding the Footlocker branding after two successful years
We are now in a world of instant global sharing – social shifts and changes in attitudes and consumer expectations will only speed up and retail needs to be ready!