Retail & Hospitality: A Perfect Partnershiphttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/shopping_post_header.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Recently, we took a daytrip to one of the Midwest’s largest retail hubs, Easton Town Center. Having such a renowned retail mecca in our own backyard has its benefits. We see trends happening in real time—a true testing ground for brands. With much to take away, one apparent attribute stood tall: Hospitality.
With the digital age influencing customers to shop from the comfort of their home, retailers are continually searching for unique ways to engage their customers. This begs the question: Why haven’t retailers invested in their in-store hospitality sooner?
We believe that hospitality is a one of the missing ingredients in retail. Through the physical space, brands can enable the customer to feel personally connected to the brand. This connection bridges the gap between the customer at an individual level and gives the extra pull to shop at the store. And keep them coming back for more.
We looked forward to visiting Filson, for a number of reasons. Known for having a warm, rustic design, Filson captures the characteristics of refined rugged work and outdoor wear. As we admired the store experience and overall design, an associate asked if we’d like some bourbon. Yes, please. As customers at heart, we were really taken aback and delighted by the extra hospitality that was fitting to the brand. Collectively, we celebrated the idea of toasting some bourbon with colleagues. Filson’s extra step in the experience process influences various dimensions of consumer engagement. This simple toast has increased foot traffic, impulse purchasing, and customer retainment.
Indochino took us by surprise. Some of our team members were unfamiliar with the brand, as well as the process in their stores. For men and women in the market for a suit, Indochino offers an experience of complete and utter personalization. An associate, or Host as Indochino calls them, will typically spend roughly an hour or more to put the customer in the best suit possible. The Host is, in essence, a liaison between visitors and the suit of their dreams. With beverage offers, lounging, and overall individualization, the hospitality cues elevate and become the driving force of the experience.
7 for all mankind
7 for all mankind is a specialty fashion retailer known for “fabric innovation.” Usually found in small boutiques or department stores, they have been growing their store footprint and recently opened up their first store at Easton Town Center. This space was highlighted with unique hospitality cues that made our visit feel special and just for us. Their utilization of wall space paired with product accessibility made for an easily navigable experience. Lying in plain sight for guests leisure were a variety of snacks. And yes, we tried a few.
So, what’s the story?
As it stands, hospitality in retail is a differentiating advantage. The key to factoring a hospitality strategy into an in-store experience? Make it memorable. To the everyday consumer, a great store design makes the shopping experience seamless. That said, sometimes a simple snack, beverage, or something to break the ice will move mountains. It develops a relationship with the guest that will help them not just remember the brand, but the nuances of the experience they were a part of.
Need help conceptualizing an unforgettable brand experience? Let’s connect.