How the Age of Retail Renaissance Is Transforming Lifestyle Stores


News of retail dying has long been making headlines, yet the reality is
retail is not dying but instead changing. This change has introduced an
exciting retail renaissance for retailers large and small as well as online and
offline, yet possibly the most exciting change this has brought to retailers is
those in the lifestyle store categories. Expanding on this, lifestyle retailers
– and all physical brick and mortar stores – should embrace a perspective that
compliments this retail renaissance. As Deloitte
recently shared, this renaissance means “that brands must
rethink the consumer experience to thrive.”

Lifestyle stores are considered more than just a destination
to shop but also a destination for consumers to gain experiences and ultimately
gain memorable moments that will persuade customers to want to shop in these
stores again and again and again. From lingering customers to girlfriends
making a day of weaving in and out of their favorite lifestyle stores, it’s no
surprise that these specific merchants have more opportunities than ever to
optimize their retail growth. Keeping this in mind, however, as retail changes
so do the demands of customers and thus, merchants must adapt to keep up with
this exciting renaissance taking shape in commerce at large. No longer do
customers want to simply buy products somewhere but instead, they want to
experience a memorable, enjoyable shopping journey that makes them want to stay
loyal to the retailers they purchase from. The question is, however, how can
lifestyle stores embrace this retail renaissance and strengthen customer sales
along the way?  


Introducing real-time customer insight into your store
strategies, routinely incorporating fresh inventory into your store displays
and understanding what customers want out of their shopping experiences are key
aspects in achieving retail renaissance success. To help, consider the below


Make Convenience a


In all your efforts to connect and engage with customers,
make sure convenience is always top of mind. After all, you don’t want your
store to be referenced as a place that becomes a chore for customers to shop…
do you? Instead, create an environment that caters to the needs and wants of
customers while making it an experience that customers will enjoy, as well.

The reality is that consumers
have limitless options in this retail renaissance we are experiencing, but the
reality is there are also limitless ways to enhance branding and commerce as a
result. As
explains, “brands
must be laser-focused on the value proposition that matters most to their
customers.” Among this value? Convenience. Yet only 6% of brands surveyed by
this same report from Deloitte Digital identified this as a priority.

Creating scenarios in which you engage with your customers that
cater to ease is among the best ways to strengthen store experiences. An
example of this would be if you sell inventory that is not easy to carry home
for a customer yet they are local and do not need it shipped by traditional
standards such as FedEx or UPS. Through services such as Roadie or by
incorporating delivery into your store services, you can create what would be a
hurdle for a customer to deal with into an opportunity for your store to
increase sales thanks to this convenient offering. Other examples include how
your customers navigate their paths to purchase. With McKinsey Consulting
reporting that two-thirds
of customers reference the internet during their purchase
process, it’s also important that physical stores consider how their online
brand connects with customers. The path to purchase, after all, is no longer
linear but that does not have to mean you can’t accommodate modern customers in
their preferred ways to connect with merchants. Social media, online review
sites such as Yelp and email marketing should all easily connect customers to
your store with up-to-date marketing information, real-time inventory updates
and the opportunity to purchase online and pick up in your store or have
delivered to them whenever possible.


Needs vs. Wants   


Lifestyle stores benefit from catering to customers looking
for inventory that they don’t just need but
also want. This is a huge opportunity
for lifestyle stores to consider since it allows them to market to customers
who both need what they sell and want what they sell – ultimately having
the potential to reach more customers. However, as
you aim to embrace this retail renaissance, also aim to understand that shopping
habits are not simply a response to what customers need and want but also to
their willingness to spend. But spending is undoubtedly influenced by psychology,
as well, which
Deloitte explains as having a “a critical role in consumers’ willingness
to open their wallets.”





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To help your lifestyle store truly embrace this retail
renaissance, you must first embrace delivering memorable experiences to
customers in modern ways that are enhanced by technology, delivered with
personalization and brought to life with in-store experiences that customers
will want to repeat again and again. Collectively, these efforts can help you
lead this renaissance with confidence and ease.