There has been a lot of focus on traditional retailers trying to move online. But, one of the big trends we’re now seeing is online retailers turning to physical stores for growth opportunities. These online “pure play” retailers are jumping from their online roots to offline stores. So, in this episode, Oliver Banks catches up with Jennifer Fruehauf to explore this opportunity more.
This is a longer conversation so it’s split into two parts. Be sure to listen to episode 20 for the second part.
Introducing Jennifer Fruehauf
Jennifer is a customer engagement and experience consultant based in London. She helps brands and retailers create and deliver omnichannel strategies and customer experiences that add both customer and business value. She’s experienced in a variety of sectors, including consumer mobile, retail, technology and fashion tech.
Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.
Now, you may recognise Jennifer from episode 13 of the Retail Transformation Show. In this episode, along with another couple of retail experts, she shared what was exciting her about the future of retail in 2019.
She strongly believes that the retail apocalypse is overblown and mis-reported. In the podcast, she mentions this great LinkedIn article that she wrote on this.
Examples of online retailers moving to physical stores
In the show, we cover a tonne of examples. So, here are those retailers referenced along with pictures and a fun video to help bring it all to life.
Warby Parker is a glasses or spectacles retailer. They started moving to physical stores way back in 2013. They’re now approaching 100 stores. This Forbes article explores some of the key points of difference in Warby Parker stores.
Casper is a mattress and bedding retailer. They are going big for physical stores and have declared that they want to open 200 stores within a 3 year period. Their stores are different from the classic mattress store with aisles of mattresses to try. Instead, they help build more of a cosy and relaxed atmosphere.
Heist is a hosiery retailer and is a new retail brand, starting in only 2015. But, they’re taking a customer focused view on retail and it’s working well for them.
“The highstreet is not dying. Brands that fail to evolve are,” adds Bell. “We see an exciting future on the high street for brands to grow stronger by bringing the best of both online and offline worlds together to improve customer experience.” (quote from TheCurrentDaily.com)
Lego & Snapchat
Lego and Snapchat partnered to offer a pop up fashion store in London. This was an AR innovation that popped up to promote Lego clothing for adults. The interesting thing about this example was that the store was essentially a white box, with only a Snapchat icon to access the augmented reality store.
Recently, US vegan make-up brand, Milk Makeup, made it’s first appearance in UK retail stores. However, it was particularly interesting as they partnered with fashion magazine, Glamour. This created buzz and helped to build awareness in a relatively new market.
In return, they offered some exclusive retail experiences to Glamour readers, in particular the opportunity to shop before doors opened. Coupled with a large Instagram following meant that footfall was not going to be something to worry about here. Read more here in this article.
Listen to part 2 of this conversation
Be sure to check back in next week for episode 20 where I’m going to be finishing my conversation with Jennifer Fruehauf. In Part 2, we explore more of the best examples of online stores transitioning to offline. Plus, we cover examples where it’s been a bad transition. Finally, we cover off the key steps that you’d need to go through to make sure that online retailers can transition across.
So, subscribe now to make sure that you don’t miss part 2.