New retail in luxury shopping

By Bernadet Bijsterbosch.
In my last blog, I explained that there is a big change in the way you reach out to your client these days, and I explained how you should let the client engage with luxury by storytelling, a personal touch of the heart. After a stagnation in luxury sales the past few years, there has been a change in retail sales due to the new customer. Brands have to revitalize their in-store presentations to keep their clients connected with their luxury products.

Many luxury retailers told me they are struggling in the world of online shopping, losing their customers to cold computer sales. But there is some good news: the buzzword in the retail industry is ‘new retail’. This is actually a new flow of companies going from online to offline selling. Amazon and Alibaba are two examples where online stores have started an offline store to present their products. They noticed that customers still like to feel and touch their products before buying. And I noticed that you have to do more to engage your client.

I feel that the new retail is the power of integrating offline selling with your online store.

But in the best brands we find that a nice collection is no longer enough to get the customers to enter your store. You need to give the new, young customer an “experience” (the magic word) by revitalizing your retail concept in combination with your digital presence.

Luxury shopping is still growing and will rise to 285 billion euros a year by 2020 (Worldwide Luxury Market Monitor 2016, Bain & Company). It is a challenge to every retailer in luxury to keep their contemporary client connected.
In my research, I visited Roca Outlet Shopping in Barcelona, a concept for many design boutiques offering the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands, in a special unique setting of small boutiques. The collection offers an unrivalled luxury shopping experience for discerning shoppers in Europe.

This outdoor shopping mall was designed to give shoppers all they need to make their day a wonderful lifestyle experience. Buses of tourists run daily to satisfy the many international tourists and locals during their shopping journey so they have a great day.

But here, in a shopping paradise, they also have to do everything they can to not lose that new customer to the online competition. And they do that in a great way. I get luxury candy in the fashion store; there is an artist playing the violin at the jewellery store, to set the right atmosphere; and the eau de parfum samples I get last me for months of enjoyment. I am surrounded by beautiful Christmas trees and golden stars as I stroll from store to store.

When I am done with my experience, I just sit outside in the sweet November sun of Barcelona and enjoy my fresh coffee. It is working; nothing beats a great shopping experience, but it is hard to give your customers that priceless feeling.

When a lovely Spanish girl stops by and offers me the best chocolate pearl to drink with my coffee, I realize that it takes time for every retailer to reinvent their approach online so it is integrated with an offline store that keeps the customers coming back. It does not have to be difficult, because even something as simple as a sweet chocolate can change your connection with your client.

It definitely works for me!

Bernadet Bijsterbosch