Elysha Young
Elysha manages the Asia Pacific Mintel Trends team made up of expert analysts and trend spotters. She currently oversees content for Mintel Trends as well as client servicing for the region.

Bata India has opened a 6,000 sqft experiential outlet featuring 3D foot scanning, an on-site podiatrist and a premium shoe laundry. The store also hosts a large Sneaker Studio, an extensive fashion footwear and handbags collection, and workwear ranges for men and women.

The site takes an omnichannel approach to client service allowing for home delivery of any shoe that is not in stock. To keep ahead of an ever-changing retail landscape, brands must integrate online and offline channels in a way that feels seamless to consumers and tangibly addresses their pain points.

Source: indianretailer.com

Experiential consumer experience

A truly seamless online/offline integration doesn’t simply mean having both a website and a physical store – both must be able to speak to each other so that when a consumer looks up inventory, they can tell whether a store has the product in stock before they visit. Likewise, physical stores can act as a showroom more than a place of purchase.

While the traditional definition of convenience, meaning fast, is important, increasingly, convenience is evolving to include personalised, functional and memorable within the shopping experience, as the speed aspect is being met with online channels and delivery.

Globally, brands are looking at innovative ways to engage consumers and enhance their shopping experiences. In the US, Chemist Warehouse is enhancing the customer experience by partnering with a US teledentistry company to bring SmileShops to its stores. While in Tokyo, a new Lush store transitions customers along a sensory-based shopping journey that features minimal use of packaging.

What we think

Employing technology to provide in-store experiences puts brands in a better position to meet their customers’ needs; it allows consumers to engage with products through testing, customisation and purchasing in a convenient way. These tech innovations are consequently affecting the physical layout of brick-and-mortar stores in a way that it also encourages increased footfall – which of course is a benefit when online is so popular.

Tech-enabled services will continue to add value to the overall experience, giving consumers a reason to visit physical stores as part of their customer journey. Consumers already expect to be able to interact with retailers on every channel, but increasingly they also expect that those channels seamlessly interact with each other. Retailers that keep these channels separate will quickly find themselves struggling for relevance.