Digital (and the internet of things in particular) is still changing the face of retail. Leading homeware online retailer Made.com has just launched an interactive pop-up showroom in Birmingham. Until 30th October, Made’s showroom at the new Link Street in the Bullring centre will allow customers to browse and buy a selection of furniture and interior decor.
It’s a store with a difference, as Made.com continues to expand on plans to fuse real-life with online shopping experiences. A selection of Made products feature sensors which customers can scan to a favourites list using a tablet device, which is registered to a customers’ email address.
Customers can then complete the transaction via the email received including the contents of the ‘basket’ scanned in-store, or ordered via the in-store iMac station. Made complete the user experience by sending follow-up email ‘Your MADE wish list has arrived!’, offering £10 off the first order.
Other softer in-store touches include free fabric samples, tape measures, pencils and product literature, featuring other showrooms around the UK.
Made.com bricks and mortar stores are proving popular with customers in hotspots around the UK, with footfall rates reported overall at around 10,000 a month.
Although Made are working with online advertising company Criteo, UK Commercial Director Annabel Kilner states that the brand are keen to focus the showroom experience on conversion, rather than acquisition, and to use data gathered in-store lightly. The Drum reports how beacon technology and companies like Criteo can help bridge the gap between customer browsing and online intent through to conversion, via more accurate and inclusive attribution.
Made.com aren’t alone in attempting to share the benefits of an integrated or omnichannel strategy in retail. Marketing Land recently reported how stores such as Rebecca Minkoff and hotels such as Hilton are integrating IoT and digital to further improve and enhance the customer experience.
Some of the tools retailers can use to improve omnichannel takeup were identified in Retail Week’s recent whitepaper, such as Holland & Barrett, who offer store staff a share of web sales to encourage a channel neutral approach.
The world of retail is changing; online retailers are looking to the benefits of bricks and mortar stores for deeper connections with customers; whilst in-store only retailers are turning to the benefits of online. However, both channels working together for an optimal experience, and in turn conversion rate, remains the ultimate destination.
The Made.com pop-up showroom in Birmingham can be found at Unit L3, Link Street, Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham until 30th October 2016.