▲ Photo source: https://www.buybook.tw/book-0010780186.htm
In this day and age of social media, a physical store offers more than just sales, but the service and experience. “The Creative Shopkeeper”, of which the 8th print was released in April, has researched over 60 independent retailers around the world which are unique and have their own philosophies to take about their trade secrets in detail in the following ten main categories:
▲ Photo source: https://www.appearhere.us/spaces/old-street-station-unit-2b
① Tools and Identifiers
A unique brand identifier is definitely important. In contrast to the brand name, the identifier wins by leaving a visual impression. PRESS juice store founded in London use the bold identifier of a “bathtub”, and filled a bathtub full of ice cubes with cold-pressed juice inside during their sales. It’s eye-catching, and preserves the fresh juice.
▲ Photo source: https://blomandblom.com/store/
② Product Guided Tours and Selection
When customers make shopping an intentional activity and find joy and cultural experiences during the process, the carefully presented products become a guided tour and subconscious hints for product selection. Blom&Blom, located in Amsterdam, exhibits each lighting product precisely in a space where it could be utilized. It allows the customers to immediately connect the image of the lights in their homes and further select the products for purchase.
③ Shopping Journey and New Discovery
Simon de Beauvoir once said “Buying is a profound pleasure.” This quote shows that shopping must be a journey that can inspire joy, so that the products merge with a scenario in a story that the customers are invited to explore and share.
④ Craftsmanship and Production Process
Much like in a restaurant with a semi-open kitchen or a transparent glass overlooking the kitchen, when a store opens up its production process, it installs trust and an emotional attachment to the product in the customer. The customers will better appreciate the product quality, and recognize the production technique and efforts even more.
⑤ Thoughtful Selection and Rich Presentation
The presentation of products in the store is definitely the most important secondary package. One must consider if the product is suited for a display as a unique treasure or for a part of rich display of a wide variety of products. The Japanese stores are experts in treating a single product like a unique piece of jewelry, such as selling only one type of shirt, one book, or one kind of bread. These are all displays of a brand attitude.
⑥ Retail Stage Setup and Overall Look
Just as a high-end tailored outfit needs the right model to be displayed, every product needs a perfect stage to be presented perfectly. The key to retail is entertainment and involving the customer in the experience. Weakening their rationality while reinforcing the emotional connection so that the customer is willing to pay a price to own the product.
⑦ Lighting and the Spotlight
Never underestimate the power of lighting. American rock and roll singer Stevie Nicks once said “A colorful life is made by good lighting.” The quote fully connects the psychological and physical aspects. Light affects the customer’s assessment of the product’s value and quality and influences their feelings and desires.
⑧ Exterior Appearance and Visual Impression
The store’s exterior is the best spokesperson for the brand. The ultimate goal of a window display is to tear down the barrier between the streets and the store. This must be achieved for potential customers to feel as if they were inside the store, and will then enter the store to experience the journeys you have designed for them.
⑨ Service Attitude and Interaction Details
Service is the most significant key to the improvement of a brand. The greatest difference between retail and online stores, besides the physical touch of the product, is the face-to-face interactive customer service. If you observe the customer’s reactions often, you will find that 70% of them are more willing to make a purchase if they consider that the service staff was friendly, and may even recommend the brand to others.
⑩ Online Platform and Content
The best sales performance in the modern age does not solely rely on a physical store or an online platform, but rather integrates the online and offline channels. When the physical store is closed, the 24-hour online store extends the brand representation and services. This is why the online platform must also match the characteristics of the brand, so that customers are offered a consistent experience.
“The Creative Shopkeeper” utilizes a large amount of images and quotes to talk about the ideas behind physical stores, as well as the way to plan an enjoyable shopping journey for consumers. The principles actually all apply to online stores. From UI, UX, to visual design, image styles, every detail is a careful crafted view along the journey. An excellent view can help you achieve your sales target, while a bad one may require brand efforts for improvement. Since e-commerce is so popular nowadays, this book can also offer us a lot of inspiration and imagination.