It is more than a testing bed or identified as a cost effective exercise, the shop in a shop approach can be a smart move for retailers.
Once upon a time, business was all about having the monopoly over someone else. There was only going to be one winner. The bigger you were, the more reputable you were. No matter what size from online retailers to established bricks and mortar brands, success was seen by any means necessary.
Taking part in our latest discussion is Claire Aldersley (Design Manager), Laura Burnside (Creative Designer), Nick Flory (Sales Manager) and Pippa Saunders (Marketing Manager).
In 2016 successful retailers, we believe, are characterised by those who collaborate and have a related target audience.
Brands are now reimagining the physical space and creating places where the virtual and physical worlds come together.
Lets explain very quickly. A shop in a shop represents a brand selling its product within a larger store with a set of merchandising units in a contained space. It provides instant access within an already maintained space.
The blurring of boundaries is all around us, from Apple and Sonos working together on music for the home, to Google pioneering the next generation of cars. Similarly within retail, a shop in a shop takes a model of a dominant retailer and bringing complementary brands into the same space and selling together. When it works, it adds a new tier to the shopping experience, for brand and store.
We have recently worked on this principal with vinyl flooring company Moduleo and merchandising units in distributor stores.
Claire commented, “Moduleo have taken the shop in a shop concept before but the challenge was for us to move away from past experiences and encourage the virtues of creativity, within a concentrated space.”
“No matter what size of space we have to deliver, everything comes back to solving a problem within an area we have available. It could be a 4m x 4m modular space or a full floor, the goals are always the same.”
However, working within a more compact space encourages a more direct level of thinking, Laura commented, “Similarly to designing within an environment we have available, how a customer engages with a space is a key. One thing we have to continually question is how a person interacts within a more confined space.”
“I think this is an opportunity for a brand to strip right back and have razor sharp focus,” claimed Pippa, “A smaller space does not mean a diluted brand.”
A brand, such as Moduleo, distribute online and rent spaces from other retailers. This is where interaction becomes important.
Pippa continued this theme, “At some point a person will want to touch and feel the vinyl but also want assistance from a sales person. Without a physical window, sometimes you are letting people make their own interpretations.”
Claire explained, “With Moduleo, a physical space provides assurance. You can identify if it is the right colour you are thinking of, what happens when the flooring gets to a doorway? People need advice and not just rely on a YouTube video for the answers.”
Whilst it presents a fluid and flexible way of delivering a product, this is something that may not appeal to everyone.
Claire highlighted, “We have worked with other brands to provide a retail presence, but embracing the shop in a shop idea can create a belief that another brand could reap the rewards. Particularly when there are specific guidelines to work to. A brand is seen in someone else’s space and completely understand this may not appeal to some.”
However, borrowing someone else’s audience can allow a brand to open up a conversation with a consumer who may not originally have intended to purchase. “This is such a strong element,” stated Nick, “It is not just a case of being visible on someone else’s property but an opportunity for a related audience to come and interact. A totally new dialogue can be built.”
Nick continued, “Existing foot traffic enables access from a ‘landlord’ to a ‘tenant,’ if customers are pulled in from a brand they already trust, a lot of the hard work is done in terms of awareness building.”
A shop in a shop represents an idea that brands can have shared values and work together; whilst at the same time a brand creating its own world that is bespoke and personal to a targeted audience.
Pippa commented, “Pop-up shops are pretty transient, whereas a shop in a shop allows a brand to make a statement over a longer period of time. It’s like a tequila shot of a brand. You can impact someone quickly with such a small size.”
Whether an online retailer looking to test the marketplace within an existing brand, the shop in a shop principal has its benefits. There is pressure on everyone to stand out, no matter how big the space.
According to Claire, “One of the biggest issues within a smaller space is to show the depth of a product range. People want to be shown and educated, but a space that is built today still has to be relevant and contemporary in three years time. For instance, how will tablets be seen in three years time?”
The shop in a shop principal has always been present. It is how department stores have thrived.
The difference today is that it raises the benchmark in terms of not just understanding an audience, but the relationship and culture with another brand.
When there is structure and clarity, a shop in a shop presents an alternative way to connect with an audience.
To understand how our creative and planning process works for a shop in a shop approach, then lets have a chat. Give us a call 01935 422700 or email [email protected]