The concept of "brick and Mortar" retail is not dead but it needs innovation. "You have so many new business models online, and yet for physical retail, it's still all about sales per square foot. It's beyond archaic in my opinion" Says, Rachel Shechtman, a brand consultant and founder of STORY.
This article summaries her story and shares her idea of the future of retail, bridging content, commerce and community. In the TED Video, at the bottom of the post, you will discover how she created new business models with new revenues while adding to the customer experience and supporting the suppliers.
"Brick and Mortar" retail is not dead
According to Forrester, e-commerce accounted only for 7% of all retail sales in 2011 and that number is expected to grow only to 9% by 2016. Online sales are still just a small piece of the cake and retail space holds so much more potential.
Story: An innovative store
Rachel founded STORY , a revolutionary 2000 square-foot store in New York City that uses storytelling to advertise brands and sell products. It focuses on experience and brand value rather than the product itself. The storefront is the book cover, the interior is the narrative and the characters are the staff, the customers and the brands.
According to Rachel, "It is a space that has the point of view of a magazine, but changes like a gallery and sells things like a store".
New Retail Concept
Story is a very special kind of retail space. Every four to eight weeks, the store is completely renovated -- its walls, decor, and merchandise are changed to reflect a new theme. Currently the theme is "MADE IN AMERICA". Story has set up to explore what and who makes up America.
"Come here in February, then come here in May--you'd think it's two different stores. We're using retail as an opportunity to tell stories, but also to create a sense of community and entertainment,"says Rachel
Example: ST [LOVE] RY
Story, Just like a magazine has merchandising showcased around a theme, brand advertising and editorials. Going further than a magazine the store offers community events, activities and workshops. For example during their "love" story, the stores sold women accessories, chocolates, stuffed animals, books and MP3 players. It featured a photo booth, activities such as cup cakes workshops and they invited relevant speakers.
Rachel wanted to expand the definition of media as a place for brands to advertise in a physical retail space. "To me, retail is such an untapped conversation for the future of media. And with that comes revenue. I call it Retail Media." Story partners with brands and connect them with customers. The store makes money not only by selling product to B2B consumers but also by providing valuable services to B2B Brands.
"Our role is to play matchmaker between brands and consumers," says Rachel. "In that sense, we are a dating service".
Story: A place to Test Products
Brands have also used Story to test new products and how people react to them. The store is filled with cameras that track customer behaviours and provides essential information for brands to market products. Essentially, Story can test a product before they are launched.
TED: Changing the Retail Story: Rachel Shechtman
Story in photo
MORE ABOUT RETAIL STORYTELLING
When you stumble upon a good story, it will: move you deeply, make you squirm, wake you up, make you want to share it with your best friends, make you want to rally to the cause &, once in a great while, make you want to buy. Neil White, President & CEO, BBDOProximity
Definition of Retail Storytelling
We have been talking a lot about retail technology lately as a way to deliver unforgettable customer experiences but there is another tool that can trigger strong emotional connection and it is STORYTELLING. Storytelling is an ancient from of human expression and communication. In Marketing, it is a method of conveying messages and illustrating difficult concepts to educate the customers and encourage customer loyalty through entertainment and emotional connection. Storytelling is based on the idea that people remember information better when it is told as a story rather than presented with a list of facts.
The science behind storytelling marketing
Researcher at Wachington Unniversity in St Louis studied the level of brain activation when listening to a story. "The team found that far from just passively consuming the story, participants were instead living the experiences alongside Raymond, the young protagonist. Neurons in areas related to movement of the hand and grasping lit up when Raymond picked up an object, and neurons related to vision fired when he surveyed his surroundings."
Benefits of Story Telling
- Attract customer's attention
- Increase Brand awareness
- Humanize your brand
- Educate the audience without overwhelming them
- Engage customers: motivate individuals and groups to take action
- Increase customer loyalty by building trusting relationship
- Combat Showrooming by creating a unique in-store customer experience
- Increase sales
Element of a good story
A story should answer these questions:
- Who is the hero?
- What is the plot?
- What is the setting?
- What's the conflict
The Hero's Journey is a basic pattern found in many narratives around the world, it is a good guide to write a story.
Storytelling is very effective at the top of the marketing funnel as a lead generating tool. Storytelling is a powerful tactic to attract the leads that are not quite ready to buy and guide them from the top of the funnel, "Once upon a time" to the bottom, "They lived happily ever after".
HUGO BOSS "Love Story"
In 2012, Hugo Boss created a storytelling campaign. The story involved two French characters, Juliette and Louis and it depicts the characters' first encounter and first rendezvous through their discovery of the city of Paris. The modern love story of Louis and Juliette unfolded month after month on the store's windows of the Champs-Elysees through beautiful illustrations, in-store activities and on social media. .
The format of the illustration was unusual so it attracted attention.Â Once inside, shoppers could find other related items, like illustrated postcards they could send to loved ones, and a pop-up installation of a Parisian park bench setting. The story told was a perfect love story, in the middle of Paris and the illustration versus the high-end model brought the brand closer to its audience.
The story was told over a period of time so the brand built momentum and curiosity. The campaign continued online where you could follow the story and win a trip for two to Paris.
This is, in my opinion, one of the best examples of great retail storytelling, because it is done well with the minimum resources possible. You do not need extraordinary technology and skills; you only need a good story.
SI Retail provides solutions for the retail industry so if you need custom shopfitting equipments to create stories in your shop contact us today on 1800 211 122 or visit our website.