This Week In Retail – The Omni-Channel Edition

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Welcome back to This Week in Retail, we have a lot of exciting stories to share this week; Boots and Selfridges improving their in-store experience, Sainsbury’s benefiting from the lessons learnt on store adaptation experiments and the new iPhone.

A few weeks back, we covered the interesting development of a till-less store at Sainsbury’s. Well we can confirm that this week the tills have been re-installed, with the group stating that “not all our customers are totally ready for till free stores”. Although this wasn’t a complete success, I am sure that there will have been huge learning benefits in customer behaviours such as how they react to change and their experience with the purchasing app. Even though the uptake of this new store format wasn’t as large as expected, the industry trends suggest that till-less stores are an essential, inevitable development for these companies, rather than a quirky customer experience add-on. This is because as competitive pressures in the supermarket industry force firms to look for new avenues to cut costs, removing tills reduces requirements for both staff and floor space. This experiment by Sainsbury’s will provide it with invaluable knowledge on how they can bring their customers around to this concept and will help ensure a smooth transition to the new model of grocery shopping. Onwards and upwards.

Boots is set to trial a video consultation service that will allow customers to speak to a GP in-store. Boots will be working with online GP provider LIVI to achieve this, which falls into the group’s wider plans to create an ‘omni-channel pharmacy experience’. Over the last few months, a large proportion of our articles have been focused on the battering the high street has received from their online counterparts and we have been saying that the physical store model isn’t dead, it just needs innovating – well it looks like they’re finally listening to us! This is a strong move from Boots as over-the-counter prescriptions are one of the few commodities that online will never fully be able to replace and so it provides customers with the added incentive to visit the store, the one place where they can have all of their medical queries addressed.

On the theme of omni-channel experiences, Selfridges will be the first department store in the world to install a permanent cinema. The three-screen cinema will show blockbuster and independent films, along with offering cinemagoers food and drink. This move is the latest to provide customers with an experience more than shopping following potato peeling and live theatre pop ups last year. Selfridges is continuing to attract new customers by making a visit to their store an enjoyable activity rather than just for purchasing goods. Its no secret that Selfridges is a popular tourist location and who knows, maybe one day people will be asking their friends if they visited Selfridges rather than Big Ben or the London Eye on their adventures to the capital.

Finally, to finish, a key landmark in the retail calendar, the new iPhone 11 pro will be released next week and is set to be the most expensive iPhone yet at a little over a £1000. I’m sure this price tag won’t deter Apple’s regular customers, keen to get their hands on the latest version of the all-purpose device which I am sure will be even more spectacular than before.

 

Author


Josh Nokes

Consultant

People & Organisation

 

 

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