Times are tough in retail right now – particularly for those with a presence on the High Street. The Independent recently reported UK retail sales as showing the biggest decline in 23 years as consumers struggle with personal austerity measures.
For retailers, the article does not make for pleasant reading and comes following a recent spree of announcements from major names in the industry announcing significant store closures (Marks & Spencer announcing 100 store closures and Mothercare announcing 50). In this climate, it’s never been more important for businesses to be innovative in their approach to both the in-store and online shopping experience in order to not only survive, but thrive.
Nike has historically been forward-thinking when it comes to innovating its retail offering both online and offline. Its latest approach to delivering the perfect in-store experience has been lauded as ‘drastic’ and a ‘new age’ for retail – but when you think about it, it’s just plain logical – which means every other retailer should be learning from this approach – and fast.
Nike By Melrose
So what is this drastic, new-age approach to retail we speak of? Well, the elements of it are all encompassed in Nike’s new Los Angeles store – Nike by Melrose.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a picture of the store-front and inside the store:
Looks just like any other store – right? When we mentioned new-age, no doubt you were thinking of something that actually looks like it’s from the future… with robots or drones like Shutterstock always promises from the ‘future of retail’.
Its simplicity is the beauty of Nike by Melrose – it mostly just looks like any other store – but it’s how it’s run that differentiates it from its competitors.
Using data to make decisions is a sensible strategy designed to make success more certain, but many retailers continue to only use top-level data to make top-level decisions about their business. Instead, dig deeper into the data you have at your fingertips to really learn about what customers want at a local level, then adapt your marketing and offering to be personally tailored to them.
Nike by Melrose: A Hyperlocal, Personalised Shopping Experience
JP Morgan analysts recently wrote in a note to investors: “Constant newness = destination shopping.”
Nike by Melrose is named as such because it’s a store created, designed and stocked based on the shopping habits of local customers. It’s a store driven by data at a local level – and that’s what makes it different.
The store’s location has been chosen based on insights gathered from NikePlus to give the retail outlet the best chance of success.
New products give customers reasons to return to the store. Much of the product stocked at Nike by Melrose – including 25% of the shoes – will rotate every two weeks – a move pioneered by Zara that has proved popular with consumers.
Digital and ecommerce data from local shoppers will also determine which products are stocked and which services are offered in-store. Some of these products will also be unique to the store and are likely to never be sold anywhere else again. This brings a sense of excitement and urgency to the in-store shopping experience.
The in-store service at this store is designed to perfectly balance the convenience of online with the experience that can only be offered in person.
The in-store ‘Sneaker Bar’ lets customers get expert help in finding the right shoes for them, while Nike’s latest App – ‘Nike App at Retail’ – allows customers to browse and reserve products for immediate collection to avoid disappointment should there be no stock.
This app also enables the store to recognise NikePlus members when they walk into the store and push awards and discounts to them. Better still, the store plans to integrate the ability to scan product QR codes and have every product scanned by the customer waiting for them in the changing room to try on.
Again, the simplicity here is interesting. Instead of making customers use an in-store tablet or system, customers use their own phones – devices they are already very familiar with. And, encouraging the customer to have the phone in their hand allows them to push offers that won’t be missed by the customer.
This store is the first of the brand’s new ‘Nike Live’ concept, built around delivering speed and digital offerings in-store and so we can expect more to come of this model.
How to Gather & Use Local Insights
Data-driven insights at a local level can easily be obtained from your Google Analytics account by creating segments by location and identifying common behaviours and interests. These learnings can be used in a B2B environment as well as a B2C / retail business.
We did just that for one of our B2B clients, Womble Bond Dickinson by creating location-specific personas for each of their office locations using data collected over hundreds of thousands of sessions. Each user segment from each location uses the Womble Bond Dickinson website in very different ways – and these insights can be used to inform marketing decisions, personalise content to more effectively target each segment and, ultimately, to generate more leads at each office location.
Check them out below, and get in touch with us whether you’re a retailer or lead-generation-based business to find out how you can use data insights to improve customer experience and increase conversions at both a national and local level.