As the number of ways to shop steadily increases, consumer expectations are growing and there’s one thing they want more than anything else: convenience.
Yes, digital experiences are still key, but in-person shopping has its own benefits. RIS found that shoppers who visited a store to pick up their online order often add to their purchase — 41% of retailers report that shoppers’ average BOPIS order increased by 1-2 items during pickup.
Enter store transformations. From retail partnerships — power duos that take advantage of this impulsive purchasing — to a digital presence turned brick-and-mortar and a full-on ecosystem of pet goods, retailers are giving consumers access to more brands, products, and services from a single location than ever before.
Here are the five store transformations to watch in 2022:
In March, Petco announced a concept store that launched in San Marcos, California, that seeks to improve the in-store experience for both pet owners and store employees. The company hopes to bring to life its omnichannel customer experience in a physical store, featuring a new layout with a robust nutrition center, digital signage that improves store navigability, vet services, a BOPIS center, and more.
“The biggest inspiration on this project – and always – were pets, their parents and our Petco partners,” a Petco spokesperson told RIS. “Using customer and employee survey insights as well as call center data, we zeroed in on areas where we could most improve our in-store experience, with emphasis on how it integrates into consumer journeys that began online."
Walmart’s next store redesign will focus on digital accessories, incorporating QR codes and screens to “create opportunities for digital exploration.” For example, in Walmart’s pets area, consumers can scan a QR code to find additional dog bed options, learn about Walmart’s pet insurance service options, or have a 20-pound bag of kibble delivered to their door. The brand calls this new store experience “Time Well Spent,” and it can be viewed at its incubator store in Springdale, Arkansas.
“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we now have close to 1,000 stores renovated with this new design to help customers save time in finding what they need,” Alvis Washington, VP of marketing - store design, innovation and experience, said of the redesign, for which the first phase was launched in 2020.
A departure from the store changes listed above, and from Starbucks’ reputation for being a sit-down coffee shop, the company has invested heavily in its digital experiences and loyalty initiatives. Mobile order and pay, drive-thru, and delivery services are becoming increasingly popular for Starbucks. But it’s the company’s rewards program that’s bringing in the coffee drinkers. According to the company, rewards growth is faster than traffic at the moment, now representing 53% of all spending in Starbucks stores — an all-time high. Rewards members even visit the store three times more often than non-members, the company said.
“This is a result of our work over the past year to expand digital customer relationships, introduce new beverage offerings, and provide a safe, familiar, and convenient experience for our customers,” said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks, in the company’s latest earnings call.
On the flip side is Amazon, known for its expansive online presence, but now bringing the brand to life in a physical way. The first Amazon Style store is opening in 2022, which will feature women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, and accessories at The Americana at Brand in Los Angeles, California. Amazon said the physical shop will house customer favorites, Amazon exclusives, and brands that are “new and noteworthy.” The company said it would feature display items on the floor so consumers don’t have to sift through cluttered racks, while the back of the store will have “more selection than a traditional store of its size — more than double the number of styles.”
“As customers browse the store and scan items that catch their eye, we’ll recommend picks just for them,” the retailer said. “For an even more tailored experience, customers can share information like their style, fit, and other preferences to receive more refined recommendations.”
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The new Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building store opened its doors to the public this week. The three-storey, 23,000 square foot location will offer workshops as well as bars and stores selling coffee beverages, craft cocktails, merchandise, and food.