VMSD - June 2016 - (Page 4)
FROM THE EDITOR
Are You Experienced?
Smart retailers are elevating the in-store experience and
connecting with customers as part of their communities.
We live in a global society, this is not breaking news. The world as we know it continually gets smaller and
smaller, and our intertwined cultures, governments and economies all affect one another.
We know that delivering an exceptional customer experience is critical to brands and stores. Consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (London) describes today's retail landscape as the "Age of Experience" in
its Total Retail Survey 2016.
About 80 percent of retailers surveyed in a 2015 study by SDL (Maidenhead, U.K.) and Econsultancy
(New York), agreed with the statement: "Our customer experience is our brand." Another 80 percent said
they plan to increase their customer experience spend, according to the same report.
It's evident that a one-size-fits-all approach, whether through marketing or store design, will no longer
connect with today's shoppers. According to a Harvard Business Review article, "Localization: The Revolution in Consumer Markets," Walmart used to use five planograms for its soup section; today, that number
is closer to 200 for the same category. What's changed? The mass merchandiser now stocks flavor combinations that reflect the surrounding community.
And that surrounding community makes all the difference: Soup lovers in Phoenix will certainly
have different preferences than those in New England - a logic that applies to virtually any
product you can think of. Who we are and where we live influence our purchasing behavior
and buying decisions.
Retailers must recognize the importance of their local communities in order to
become a destination - a place shoppers seek out to spend time. This becomes ever
more critical for survival in a world where there are more channels and touchpoints
than ever before, all competing for shoppers' hearts, minds and, ultimately, dollars.
The store is just one of these touchpoints, but the potential is there for retailers to
transform their physical spaces into much more than simply a place to purchase
goods and deliver the types of compelling experiences shoppers demand.
As I put the finishing touches on this column, I'm off to Singapore and Dubai,
United Arab Emirates, for 10 days of retail immersion, as part of the asia a go go
retail tour, presented by VMSD.
VMSD I'll have the opportunity to visit world-famous shopping centers like the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and Suntec City in Singapore's
Marina Bay. Both cities are known for elevating shopping to an entirely new level:
Think indoor ski slopes and underground aquariums. And I, for one, can't wait to
explore these in-store experiences at their finest.
Editor-in-Chief, VMSD magazine
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - June 2016
VMSD - June 2016
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
Store Fixtures Take a Bow
A New Vision
Web Exclusive: Très Jolie
VMSD - June 2016