May 25, 2017
5 minute read
Nowadays everyone is searching for something unique, but with an abundance of chain stores in every city it can be hard to find an item of clothing or make-up which is made just for you. And with the ever-increasing ease of e-commerce, companies face the challenge of enhancing the shopping experience to bring the customer back to bricks and mortar.
Recognising consumer’s desire for something which is one of a kind, a number of well-known brands are embracing in-store customisation and offering their clientele the chance to make their purchases uniquely their own.
From urban to mainstream, we’ve taken a look at some brands who are offering unique shopping experiences to cater to every type of consumer.
The Japanese lifestyle brand MUJI unveiled last year it’s customisation-focused flagship store in New York, designed to offer a new level of brand engagement with a range of personalised products. Located on Fifth Avenue, the store offers over 100 embroidered designs which can be added to clothing and textiles. The store is also the home of ‘The Aroma Labo counter’, which enables customers to design their own personalised fragrance which is mixed in front of their eyes in store. Additional to these services, Shoppers are also able to decorate MUJI stationary with stamps and stickers as a free of charge service.
Earlier this year, GAP took a slightly different approach by launching a new service which is available in a number of participating stores. The ‘Denim Addict’ personalisation service allows customers to choose their new pair of jeans from any of the existing ranges, bring them to the customisation area and make them unique through distressing or adding studs, patches or embroidery. Customers can also add on names and initials onto their denim. Knowledgeable staff are at hand to help pick out the perfect pair of jeans- and even offer a hemming service to ensure a perfect fit.
Popular footwear brand, Converse have been selling since 1908. To increase their personalisation offering, Converse launched a ‘Blank Canvas’ customisation workshop within their flagship New York store in 2016. Customers are able to book an appointment with a Converse designer and create the shoe of their dreams on the day. The sky is the limit with fonts, colours, laces and logos all interchangeable. You can even email through your own piece of art, for example a drawing your child has done at school, and then get that printed on your trainers.
The popular sportswear brand are currently evaluating the results of a recent in-store customisation experiment in Berlin, Germany, which allowed the customer to design their own sweater on the spot in a fun and interactive experience. For the first few months of 2017, Adidas were trialing an innovative new system whereby customers could have a full body scan in store, with the chosen design being projected onto their body in a truly ‘sci-fi’ style experience. Customers were encouraged to get interactive, even adding and removing patterns to their design with their own hands! As a result, a personalised Merino wool jumper was created to their exact measurements and specifications and available for customers to collect just a few hours later. Check out a video of the interactive experience here.
Adidas are sure to gain a massive insight into their customer’s requirements and preferences with the data collected from this in-store customisation. From the exact sizes of unique customers, to design and colour preferences, Adidas would certainly be able to ensure that customers can be specifically targeted with the wealth of the data gathered in the initial trial. The trial just recently ended, so it’s a case of wait and see if Adidas will be rolling the service out to a wider number of stores in the future.
Boots and Sephora
The beauty industry has struggled somewhat with attempts to offer a truly personalised or customisable approach to products, although there are a couple of brands who are seeing some success. In the UK, Boot’s make-up range No 7 now offers a ‘Match Made’ service. Customers come into a store and have their skin colour assessed by small hand-held computer which analyses tone and colour and determines the exact shade range which will suit the customer. Sephora are doing something similar with their Colour IQ range. The surface of the customer’s skin is scanned, and is assigned a Colour IQ number, which can then filter through hundreds of lip, foundation and concealer shades to reveal those most suitable. Once the customer has been given their personal Colour IQ number, this can be saved with the customer’s online account details to ensure a completely personal online shopping experience. With such a vast amount of make-up products now available, this additional personalisation could give a competitive edge as customers seek to find products which will work for them.
Hugely popular for many years, Dr Martens have recently acquired space in Camden in London, a location famous across the world for its alternative subculture, where they plan to open an innovative concept store. Named the ‘spiritual home’ of Dr Martens, Camden seems to be the obvious choice for the new two-storey flagship store, being a hub for London’s live music scene and eclectic youth culture which is also so prominent in the Dr Martens brand. Reports suggest that the store will include a footwear customisation area, allowing shoppers to make their DM’s unique, as well as it’s own gig space, and an interactive VR experience which immerses fans into the world where the brand began. As quoted by Fashion United, Dr Martens’ CEO Steve Murray said: “Opening a store in Camden will give us a platform to go beyond normal retail and experiment with some new concepts which we’ll use to enhance the brand experience for our many loyal followers”.
The future of in-store customisation
With so many reputable brands now delving into the realm of customisation, we are beginning to get a sense of what might be possible in terms of personalised products. The modern shopper is looking for an element of theatre, and in-store customisation brings the type of experience which shoppers can tell their friends about or share on social media.
Jill Standish, senior managing director for Accenture Retail, said: “Gen Z is the next big consumer market and purchasing powerhouse. Offering services such as customisation and hyper-personalisation are a must-have capability for reaching a generation that is shaping and commanding today’s digital retail landscape.”
Whether using in-store experiences teamed with face-to-face customer service such as those available at MUJI, GAP, and Converse, or offering personalisation by utilising the latest technologies like Adidas, Boots and Sephora, customers can feel part of the creation process. Not only do they get to walk away with a product that is uniquely theirs, it is also something which they had a hand in making and it’s been designed in their vision, in often a new a revolutionary way. Regardless of the technique, customers are partaking in a memorable shopping experience, whilst in some cases feeding back valuable data to the company in question.
All this is crucial for customer loyalty in today’s incredibly competitive retail environment. Brands need to be offering customers something they can’t get anywhere else, something they can show off and purchase straight away for instant gratification. In-store customisation offers it all.
If you want to understand more about how customer loyalty evolving through new approaches like in-store customisation, then take a look at our blog on the future of customer loyalty.
If your business is looking for innovative ways to keep your customers loyal then we can help. Speak to us today to find out more.