From the editor

Stores: A Survival Guide

January 31, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
The “big” story coming out of this last holiday shopping season was, not surprisingly, smartphone apps. Everyone was talking about the mainstreaming of these technologies and the ways they were aiding shoppers in their purchasing decisions. 



The “big” story coming out of this last holiday shopping season was, not surprisingly, smartphone apps. Everyone was talking about the mainstreaming of these technologies and the ways they were aiding shoppers in their purchasing decisions - most often in the form of deal-finding.

It would be easy to believe that, going forward, shoppers are going to be beholden to price. But even while 2010 marked the tipping point for tech-enabled purchasing, and had the “new frugality” as an ongoing storyline, the year saw consumer spending trends all over the board.

What this indicates is that-even in tough times-shopping is about more than just price. There’s also the experience to consider. This month’s cover story, A Future in Store, looks at the way physical retail spaces are using elements of the online world to enhance in-store experiences. But it also makes the case for the “touch and feel” tangible and social elements that can only be afforded by physical stores and, of course, the packaging within them.

And that’s the “white space” for our sector: the reinvention of the retail experience. It’s understandable in these economic times for brands to be cautious about making new investments and going down new paths. But if technology is empowering consumers and ushering in a new world of price transparency, how many retailers and brands will hold up under that kind of scrutiny? The answer, of course, is not many - the rest will simply have to find innovative ways to survive. I’m putting my money on the warm and fuzzies of physical spaces.

For one, online retailers are seeing value in opening physical, bricks and mortar counterparts. The eBay of the craft world, Etsy, opened Etsy Labs, a work and “social space” adjacent to its Brooklyn headquarters to give its online community a decidedly offline way to interact. The edgy, online t-shirt retailer Threadless now has two retail stores in its hometown of Chicago.

Then, there’s the go-to example of the Apple store. The company recently reported setting a new quarterly foot traffic record in its 300+ stores, hosting 74.5 million visitors. It’s a figure that The Atlantic found to surpass the number of Disneyland and Disney World visitors combined. Of course, not all 74.5 million Apple visitors made purchases. But, clearly, the brand’s stores have earned the status of must-see destinations. Can there be anything more convincing in the advocacy for more engaging retail experiences than that?

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to BRAND PACKAGING Magazine. 

Recent Articles by Pauline Hammerbeck

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

10th Annual Packaging That Sells Conference, Chicago, October 2012

Posted Date: October 29, 2013

BRANDPACKAGING’s packaging conference returned for a tenth year with a focus on a single message: Make It Matter.

2/12/14 2:00 pm EST

Packaging Matters™: A study on packaging’s impact on shopping behavior, product satisfaction and trends in the global marketplace

On-Demand Packaging Matters™ is MWV’s study of the role of packaging in product satisfaction.  In its second iteration, the research has expanded to 10 markets: China, India, Brazil, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, U.K., Germany, Japan and the U.S. We study packaging because it matters to brand owners, retailers and consumers around the world. Packaging impacts shopping behavior, influences product satisfaction and motivates consumers in global markets in different ways.

THE MAGAZINE

Brand Packaging Magazine

brand packaging april 2014

April 2014

The April 2014 issue examines the topic of "Green Fatigue."  You can also read the issue at the Digital Editions.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE BRAND PACKAGING STORE

BP_DG_2013Cover.gif
Design Gallery Volume 11

Design Gallery Volume 11 is not just a study in good design. It’s a look at how packaging can successfully demonstrate structural and graphic innovation, make strong shelf impact, meet consumer, shopper and retailer needs and support and convey the brand story

More Products

SDG

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png  youtube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png