Store experience refers to the flow and opportunities for customers to visit the store, receive customer service while wandering around the store, and purchase products. “Purchasing experience”,
On the other hand, the number of people who use online shopping in Korona-ka is increasing, and stores are moving away. To visit a physical store, we need a chance and a reason.
Therefore, “store experience” is attracting attention again to promote store visits.
This time, we will introduce an example of providing a new store experience in Japan and overseas. Let’s create an opportunity to visit the store and promote store visits.
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What is a store experience?
New store experience example in Japan
・Order online and receive in as little as 2 hours “ORDER & PICK” (Fast Retailing)
・Beauty brand experience store “NewMe” (Tech at)
・Drive-through payment with ETC payment (Japan Kentucky Fried )・ Chicken)
・Convenience without a cash register, open to the public in Tokyo (Lawson)
・Experience the service at a physical store (Mercari)
・Order at the 99 yen AI cafe Alexa (Connected Commerce)
New overseas store experience examples
・Purchasing space that integrates SNS and retail: China (BURBERRY)
・Experience-based shop “b8ta (beta)”: USA (b8ta)
・Introduction of the non-registration system, store suspension, and layout change Unnecessary: USA (Circle K)
・Experience-based store specializing in digital “Nike Rise”: China ・ Guangzhou (Nike)
・Beauty magazine “ALLURE” Actual store opening: USA (CONDE NAST)
・Full-scale experience of the car with VR “Audi” City “: Germany and other countries (Audi)
What is a store experience?
Store experience refers to the flow and opportunities for customers to visit the store, receive customer service while wandering around the store, and purchase products. “Purchasing experience”, which is treated as a synonym for store experience, is defined to include purchasing at EC, but this time we will focus on only the experience at the actual store.
For example, the following situations can be mentioned as a conventional store experience.
- Communication with the clerk
- You can see what you want by chance by looking inside the store
- You can pick up the product and try it on
However, as the number of EC users increases due to Korona-ka and the time spent at stores decreases, there is a movement to review the existence value of stores instead of the conventional store experience. It is necessary to differentiate from EC, aim for synergistic effects, and utilize the strengths of physical stores.
One effective way to increase the value of your store experience is to think of your store as a medium. World-renowned retail consultant Doug Stevens has covered “Store Mediation” in “Retail Regeneration-Real Stores Become Media” published in 2018. By thinking of a store as a medium, it is possible to think of it as a place where people can get to know the brand, not just a place to sell products.
For example, there is a flow of purchasing products that have not been purchased at a physical store later with EC. By converting stores to media, it will be possible to take on the process of “brand awareness” that was mainly carried out by SNS and the Internet through store experience.
In addition, by seamlessly connecting the actual store and EC, rather than considering the roles of the store and the Internet separately, we can provide services without missing the timing when customers want to purchase. It is no exaggeration to say that future retail services will be influenced by redefining the value of a store and considering what value it will provide to customers.
However, even if you try to implement a new store experience, you will not immediately come up with an idea. First, let’s see if any points can be utilized by referring to the success stories.
* The examples introduced are as of October 29, 2021.
New store experience case in Japan
First, I would like to introduce six examples of new store experiences offered in Japan.
Let’s explain in detail one by one.
Order online and receive in as little as 2 hours “ORDER & PICK” (FAST RETAILING)
FAST RETAILING announced in the announcement of its financial results that the usage rate of the “store pick-up service”, which receives products purchased on the EC site at physical stores, will reach 40% or more of EC sales.
In October 2021, the company, which is strengthening its Online to Offline (O2O) measures, can check the inventory status of stores at UNIQLO and GU, place orders in advance on apps and smartphone sites, and receive purchased products in as little as two hours. The service “ORDER & PICK” has started. It can be said that we are offering a new store experience that meets the needs of “I have something I want right now, but I don’t have time to choose it at the store.”
Reference source: “ORDER & PICK”
Beauty brand experience-based store “New Me” (Tech at)
That, a beauty RaaS business, opened a hands-on RaaS store “New Me” in Tenjin, Fukuoka in September 2021.
You can experience about 120 items that are difficult to try, such as online limited items and salon-exclusive items, at the store. On the 1st and 2nd floors of the store, you can purchase products online from the terminal provided for each product, and you can make online payments by reading the QR code displayed on the terminal with your smartphone. You can also purchase from the store staff at the store cashier. We will open a web mall linked to the products in the store and distribute the attractiveness of the products and the brand background as contents. We provide customers with a new store experience by multiplying physical stores with e-commerce.
Drive-through payment with ETC payment (Kentucky Japan Fried Chicken)
In August 2020, Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan conducted a demonstration experiment in collaboration with NEXCO Central Japan to pay ETC for drive-through payments.
The demonstration experiment will be conducted at the Sagamihara Chuo store in Kanagawa prefecture until the end of November 2020. Order products as usual by drive-through, and if you say “Pay by ETC” at the time of payment, payment will be executed with the ETC card in the car when you pass through the product receiving window. As you pass through the tollhouse on the highway, payment is automatically completed, which is also useful for promoting cashless payments.
This demonstration experiment is a new service that promotes cashless payments and meets the needs of customers who desire non-contact due to Korona-ka.
Convenience store without a cash register, open to the public in Tokyo (Lawson)
Before opening the store without a cash register to the public, Lawson set up a small experimental store in Fujitsu’s Shinkawasaki base for three months from February 26 to May 25, 2020, and conducted a demonstration experiment. .. The demonstration experiment was conducted only for about 3,000 employees of the Fujitsu Group working at the same base.
If you download the dedicated application “Lawson GO” on your smartphone and register your user information and credit card number before coming to the store, you can shop without going through the cash register. When you enter the store, the QR code of the app will be displayed at the entrance gate, and if you get the product you want and leave the store, it will be considered as a “purchase” and will be automatically settled by credit card.
AI (artificial intelligence) is used as the core technology to determine which customer picked up which product and left the store. The AI technology used this time is based on the “Zippin” system of Bucognition Technologies of the United States, and 28 cameras are installed on a 23.2 square meter site at the experimental store. Using multiple cameras installed on the ceiling of the store and weight sensors installed on the product shelves, we can capture the movements of products and customers and realize shopping at the cash registers. Zippin also captures the movements of the clerk, recognizes that the clerk puts the product on the shelf as “replenishment”, and adopted a technology that can adjust the inventory quantity of the product shelf on the system.
By making stores fewer cashiers, we have reduced the number of employees and realized non-contact services, showing a new form of convenience store management.
Reference source: [Press release] Experiment without cash register “Lawson Fujitsu Shinkawasaki TS cash registers shop” experiment started
Experience the service at a physical store (Mercari)
On October 1, 2021, Mercari opened its flea market app experience store “Mercari Station” at four Marui stores nationwide (Kobe Marui, Kichijoji store, Hakata Marui, and ICOTNICOT) for a limited time.
The purpose is to attract a new user base by letting them experience the service that was completed digitally at the actual store. At the “Mercari Station”, you can experience from listing to shipping of products, “Mercari classroom” where you can learn how to use Mercari, “shooting/packing booth” where you can shoot the products you want to sell, and you can ship by just posting the sold products. You can learn while using Mercari, such as the “Easy Shipping Booth”.
It can be said that this is an example of approaching the promotion of service usage for existing users and users who are aware of it but have never used it through the store experience.
Order at AI Cafe Alexa for 99 yen
Connected Commerce is located in the Shibuya underground shopping center “Shibuchika”, which was renovated and opened on July 1, 2021, and the AI Cafe “AZLM CONNECTED CAFE” Shibuya underground shopping center is linked with NTT East’s cutting-edge technology. “Store” was opened.
There are about 300 display spaces in the store so that customers can pick up the product, try it, and purchase it.
The customer service in the store is remote, and you can experience voice ordering by Amazon Alexa, remote customer service using a tablet, seat guidance using a personal robot, and so on. In addition, complete cashless payment using Amazon Pay is also possible. Display products are linked to EC sites.
Cafe users who have registered as members in advance can enjoy specialty coffee, which usually costs 400 yen or more, for 99 yen, and in the store, they can get an opportunity to know new information through the display. Display exhibitors can advertise and open stores in a prime location in Shibuya with an exceptional location fee of 30,000 a month. The store management side can anonymize the information of customers, accumulate data, analyze purchasing behavior, and utilize it for marketing such as product development and sales strategy planning.
By accumulating and utilizing the data in the actual store online, there is a great advantage not only for the customers but also for the store side and the displayed exhibitor. It can be said that this is an example of converting a store into media.
Examples of new overseas store experiences
Next, I would like to introduce 6 new store experiences offered overseas.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each service.
Purchasing space for SNS and retail fusion: China (BURBERRY)
BURBERRY opened the “Social Retail Store” on July 31, 2021, at the Shenzhen Bay MIXC shopping mall in Shenzhen, China. We have succeeded in making online and offline seamless by converting physical stores into media.
You can now earn “Burberry Social Currency” through in-store experiences using the messenger app WeChat. For example, you can scan the QR code displayed on the digital screen inside the store, make a reservation for a cafe or fitting room, or experience the store to save currency. The currency earned can be used to order special menus at the cafe and receive special movies and images.
Utilizing the app, we provide a store experience that leads to royalization by deepening interaction with the brand while having fun.
Experience-based shop “b8ta (beta)”: USA (b8ta)
The American experience-based retail store “b8ta (beta)” is a retail store where you can discover, experience, and purchase advanced products such as VR and IoT home appliances. Our strength is that we can experience it, including VR devices and voice recognition type IoT devices that are difficult to judge the quality from the Web alone.
Furthermore, “b8ta (beta)” is attracting attention as a pioneer of RaaS-type stores.
RaaS is an acronym for “Retail as a Service” and refers to the commercialization of the retail industry. It is a subscription model that provides data essential for store management, such as staff arrangements, education, and marketing data, every month. “B8ta (Beta)” provides stores with RaaS and rents them out to companies that want to display products in the area inside the store. The listing fee includes behavior data of customers who visit the store, staff arrangements, inventory management, etc., and shows a new form of RaaS.
It opened in the suburbs of Seattle, the USA in 2015, and in Japan, it opened two stores, Shinjuku Marui Main Building and Yurakucho, on August 1, 2021. In addition, a new store is scheduled to open in Shibuya on November 8, 2021, which has had a new impact on the Japanese retail industry.
Introduced a system without a cash register, no need to suspend store operations or change layout: USA (Circle K)
Standard AI, an American retail platform company, developed a frictionless system in October 2021 at an existing store in Arizona, USA, of the convenience store chain “Circle K,” which is expanding globally. “Checkout system” has been adopted.
An AI-equipped camera is installed in the store to instantly grasp and identify the products that customers have picked up. You don’t have to go through the cash register, and you can automatically record the purchased products in the app. Standard AI is planning to collaborate with “Circle K” to introduce more frictionless AI technology that does not require a cash register and requires no hassle.
This is an epoch-making example of providing a store experience that is cash-less and does not bother customers.
Digital-specialized experience-based store “Nike Rise”: Guangzhou, China (Nike)
In July 2020, Nike renewed its store in Guangzhou, China, and opened a new retail concept shop “Nike Rise” specializing in digital. Nike’s overall sales are declining, but sales in China are growing, so Chinese stores are being selected as the new concept shop.
By using the Nike App at Retail app, you can book workshops and receive automatic foot fitting services. You can also check the product information with the app and send the product you are interested in into the fitting room in advance. We are also running a sock gift campaign where you can scan the QR code in the store.
This is an example of successfully creating a store that provides an opportunity to visit a store by making full use of the app.
Beauty magazine “ALLURE” actual store opened: USA (CONDE NAST)
In July 2021, CONDE NAST in the United States opened a real store in Soho, New York, where you can experience the world of the beauty magazine “ALLURE”.
Products linked to the planning of the magazine and catchphrases reminiscent of the magazine are displayed in the store, so you can pick up the products introduced in the magazine and try them out. There is no cash register in the store, so you can either read the QR code of the pop attached to the product to check out or ask a clerk to purchase it. The pop attached to the product also has a QR code that allows you to see the product description, and you can also see influencer reviews posted on Instagram, TikTok, etc.
In conjunction with magazines, products change in 90 days, creating a system that you can enjoy whenever you visit. It can be said to be one of the examples where you can experience the store while enjoying the world view of the magazine.
Experience the actual size of a car in VR “Audi City”: Germany and other countries (Audi)
German carmaker Audi has opened a new showroom “Audi City” using virtual technology in various countries such as Berlin and Beijing.
We have created stores that make full use of digital technology, mainly in urban areas, where it is difficult to set up large-scale stores and have succeeded in reducing the sales floor area and the number of test drive inventories. Above all, using VR technology, it is possible to experience a full-scale car in front of a memo, customize colors and change optional equipment according to taste, and see the model that suits your wishes on the spot. .. Customers can experience virtual experiences that other car dealers cannot experience, which also differentiates them from other companies.
By introducing VR technology, we have succeeded in providing a new store experience in the showroom.
Although the number of people who purchase products online at Korona-ka has increased, there is also a trend of returning to physical stores as Corona converges. Promote store visits, it is one way to provide an “excitement” that makes visiting a physical store fun.
In addition, it is necessary to supplement the services that EC lacks in actual stores, aim for synergistic effects between stores and EC, and provide new store experiences to improve customer satisfaction. After the Korona-ka, cashless and contactless services are attracting attention, and it is essential to provide services that meet the needs of customers.
Learn from successful store experiences, think about providing value for new stores, and promote store visits and sales.
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