How to become a customer’s ‘third-place’

Partner & Co-Founder of Beta Agency, Richard Rizika, was recently published on the front cover of Western Real Estate Business for his article ‘How to Become a Customer’s ‘ Third-Place’. In the article, Richard explores the idea that shopping centers have to become brands to stay relevant and align with the values of the consumers. In order to become a customer’s ‘third-place’, Richard breaks down four basic guidelines that help to create meaningful consumer connections:

  1. Flexible design
    Flexibility is about adapting to changing trends and consumer demands, and right now that means greater personalization and customization. Unlike traditional large store footprints that dominated the landscape in prior years, now it’s about small showrooms that impart a tailor-made retail experience—think Nordstrom Local or online direct-to-consumer brands like Glossier and Everlane that have opened tightly edited stores in select cities to huge buzz—and lines down the block.
  2. Commitment to community
    The old adage goes: If you build it, they will come—and the same applies to retail. “Brick-and-mortar retailers have an opportunity to create physical communities from loyal customers,” says Rizika, “These communities keep customers in stores longer, bring them back, and spread a brand story through word-of-mouth advertising.” Events are an easy way to start. Retailers, like Lululemon and prAna, host community yoga classes in partnership with local studios. Urban Outfitters’ Manhattan location houses an in-store coffee shop, hair salon, bike-repair station, and photography section.
  3. Omni-channel strategy
    Incorporating this approach means customers can pick up where they left off on one channel and continue the experience seamlessly on another. Timberland brings this idea to life in their stores: Shoppers browse with an in-store tablet that, when scanned against product and signage, offers all the information they need. They can navigate an independent retail experience throughout the store. Similarly, Everlane customers can shop in store using their online profile so past purchases and their credit cards are just one tap away.
  4. Compelling consumer experiences
    Gone are the days of transactional shopping. Now retailers have to focus on experiential shopping. Lowe’s has been able to set itself apart from the home improvement retail landscape by utilizing A.I. technology. Their Lowe’s Vision In-Store Navigation allows customers to search for products via their app and receive turn-by-turn directions directly to the product they’re seeking. It facilitates a seamless shopping experience and frees associates to spend more time advising and answering questions. Late last year, Nike debuted its House of Innovation in Manhattan. The six-story location has an entire wing dedicated to customized products, QR codes on mannequins to help quickly find all availability and sizing, Instant Checkout so shoppers can skip lines, and more. “The best customer experience will continue to innovate to stay ahead of new technology and trends,” says Rizika. “That’s what builds lasting customer connections.”

Read the full published article here:{%22issue_id%22:601868,%22page%22:0}