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Redefine the Retail Store

Based on this posting (from ex-Apple Exec) in which he suggest that the best way to increase sales is to rethink what a store features are, and it being a sector I have some past experience in, I jotted down some fun ideas on how stores might be improved:

  • Mobile Stores – like the pop-up ones, although so far this seems more marketing than merchandising.
  • Transparency – literally see-through walls that show me the back office, the stock room, the lunch room. Obviously retain security (incl. the toilets), but I’m interested and could be impressed.
  • Show Realtime Data – put on the wall in big projected graphics what is selling, new items in, customer videos, promotions, and so on.
  • Flash Competitions – give away something small, and/or enter me to win something big (e.g. monthly draw).
  • Kill Paper Receipts – send me an email (or similar) with the receipt so can print it if I ever need it – plus bonus to the retailer who gets my email address! Better still put a sticker on the box that is the receipt. Perhaps the real solution is to scan the items serial number/barcode (or something) and the retailer keeps their own record of when/where this was sold. I don’t want a receipt really.
  • Man Stuff – Offer something for those not shopping, beyond mags by the changing room. Project news headlines, twitter streams, factiods (!), and perhaps cartoons for the kids.
  • Compete with Online – for example since I am taking the transport hit take any normal delivery fee off the item I am buying.
  • Coordinated Pickup – I like keeping purchases at the store until I am ready to go home, instead of dragging them around with me. It would be really nice if one company did this for all stores, so I go to one pickup place for all my items.
  • Mashup Stores – where products compliment each other, combine the store. Superstores and department stores kind of do it but co-branded stores might be interesting, such as Apple-and-Nike, or Currys-and-HMV).
  • Plan the Assault – wouldn’t it be great if a store app had a map of where all products are on the shopfloor, so when I know what I want I can find them all. All chain-stores have a product placement plan so it can’t be that hard to build a heat-map type of thing. Also would be very handy for when they change the layouts, especially in large supermarkets.

Please comment, adding any other interesting ideas.

Categories: Customer Service
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