Had you told retail store managers ten years ago that the toughest competition that they would be facing in 2019 was a device that consumers could hold in the palm of their hand, it is likely you would have been laughed out of the store. Flash forward to the present day and the overwhelming popularity of mobile e-commerce is forcing brands to come up with new ways to get consumers into their stores.
Yet for all its comfort and expediency, online shopping remains a pretty monotonous experience – a swipe here, a click there, done within seconds and with plenty time to spare. And that’s where some brand owners have already figured out how bricks and mortar stores have a competitive edge over e-commerce: they are able to offer an enhanced, in-store shopping experience. However, if brick and mortar stores want to engage their customers in the same way as e-retailers then they must explore creative ways in which this can be achieved.
Levi’s recent promotional campaign is a prime example of a brand championing the in-store shopping experience. What’s best, it did so with a winning formula that combined print and personalisation.
In collaboration with the popular animated indy band, Gorrilaz, the clothing retailer provided on-demand customised clothing by setting up on-site print bars at select Levi’s stores across Europe. The process was simple for customers too – all they had to do was rock up to a store, choose the Gorillaz-themed imagery they liked best and layer them against patterns and motifs of their choice (any colour or size). Once they were happy with the design, they would hit print and their personalised item would be ready to take away within 5 minutes.
The strapline used by Levi’s was “You can’t find this stuff online, so move fast!”, which is a great way of highlighting the exclusivity of this in-store offering, prompting customers to make the trip to a store over the period of time that the campaign ran.
And while this is no doubt this particular campaign appealed more to Gorrillaz fans looking to customise their band merchandise, it is a great example of how Levi’s and other retailers can offer an on-demand customisation service in store.
Another favourite of mine is the personalisation option that high-end stationary brand, Kikki K, offers in store. Customers can personalise products ranging from purses to notebooks to passport covers with names or initials. It is a customisation offering that I have used many times to make a gift that bit more special or to even treat myself to a professional looking notepad with my initials on.
The best part is that you can go in store, pick out the product and print in the colour and style you find most appealing. With the full range of colours on display, it makes the selection process a lot easier than online, when you cannot be sure that the product will look the same in natural daylight as it did on-screen.
Once you’ve placed your order, the finished product is available for pick-up in 30 minutes. While this is extremely convenient for customers, it also provides a great opportunity for Kikki K because while waiting for my product and browsing around, I always come out with more items than I went in for.
Levi’s and Kikki.K are just two retailers leading the way in on-demand customisation in-store, but there is a huge opportunity for many of the brands that you see on the high street. In an age of the digital takeover, it is prime time to entice customers off the internet and in-store and offer a customer experience that cannot be replicated online.