The Resurgence of Retail Serviceshttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/ReatailService-HeaderImage-1440x428-1.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
When you think of retail services today, terms like BOPIS, same-day delivery, subscription models, and replenishment automation probably come to mind. But many brands are looking to differentiate what are now becoming merely operational essentials to provide more meaningful service-oriented experiences. Ones that cultivate community and strengthen not just customer loyalty but increase customer desirability for the products and services these brands offer. New expectations for retail services are emerging, and savvy retailers are looking to engage consumers beyond commerce by tapping into lifestyle-centered initiatives, including personalization, customization, and curation.
“90% of global retail sales still occur in brick-and-mortar locations. Most customers still want to go to the store, and they want to go to a store that offers them exciting, innovative experiences they can’t find on a web page.” – Bobby Marmahat, CEO of Raydiant
In 2021 luxury department chain Bloomingdale’s launched its small-store concept Bloomies. While the size of the store was a big departure, the focus on the in-store experience might have been an even bigger brand shift. With a highly edited assortment, the space gave way to new retail services to encourage a casual drop-in or a full-day shopping experience.
Providing access to in-store and virtual stylists, Bloomies elevates the personal style quotient. In-store tech enables stylists to source special finds from nearby Bloomingdale’s stores. Feeling like you’re in the ultimate fashion funk? Don’t worry. Bloomie’s now makes house calls with its first-ever Bloomies van for in-home stylist appointments and special deliveries.
Beyond personal styling, the brand offers monogramming, alterations, and gift-wrapping services. Additional retail services like in-store pickup, curbside pickups, and drop-off returns can be facilitated at the store’s dedicated “Front Desk” concierge station.
Making sure shoppers are fueled in their hunt for fashion, guests can also enjoy cocktails, coffee, and Cuban food at Bloomies’ on-site restaurant, the Colado Shop. The DC restaurant is a local favorite and a dining destination unto itself.
We all have likely experienced (and enjoyed) the endless maze of furniture and homegoods at Ikea. Recently the brand’s intentional discovery design has taken an overhaul to provide a smaller, specialized retail service experience. Rather than endless aisles of products, the brand’s Plan and Order Point concept offers planning services by appointment only. The store allows customers to try out a curated assortment of products to help aide in the decision making process. Customers can then have their purchases delivered at home or collect them from local IKEA pick-up locations.
“The Ikea Plan and Order Point is one of the many ways we’re transforming our business to deliver new customer touchpoints and locally relevant home furnishing services that better meet the everyday needs in an affordable way,” says Eri Mathy, Business Development Manager of Ikea Canada.
Pet health and wellness company Petco recently took a niche approach to pet care with the launch of Reddy in New York. Centralized around all things dog, Reddy presented an opportunity for the brand to cater specifically to dog-loving customers and their fur babies. The urban boutique offers a fitting station where customers can get “the perfect look and fit” for their pet and custom services such as personalized pet tags and on-site product monogramming. A new food feature is the JustFoodForDogs fresh nutrition station offering a range of high-quality dog foods and treats, formulated to meet specific nutritional needs and supplements to help boost pets’ health.
Those pup-parents looking for an elevated level of fun can also connect with the store’s “adventure concierge” to plan activities with their pets and access a calendar of recommended monthly activities in and around the city. “This first-of-its-kind boutique will continue fueling that exploration by giving New York City pet parents a hub to bond, recharge, and find the latest must-have gear to style their best lives together,” says Nick Konat, Petco’s Chief Merchandising Officer.
Raydiant’s State of Consumer Behavior 2022 report found customer experience has a direct effect on revenues as 83% of shoppers are likely to make a second trip to your store when you provide a positive in-location experience, and 63% of shoppers will spend more when they feel that an in-store experience is pleasing. It’s time for retailers to refocus in-store attention on service, not just convenience.
Curious to read more about innovative retail developments, check out our article Showfields Fosters The Future of Retail. We explore how the DTC incubator is enabling brands to create a direct, physical relationship with its future consumers.