Close
 

Retail's new best friend

  • In association with the IHA Global Innovation Awards (GIA)
  • July 13, 2019
  • Anne Kong
Retail's new best friend

As the heart and soul of retailing further evolves, stores and the essence of shopping will continue to morph in unimaginable ways. However, amidst the storm of change, there is one aspect of shopping that remains pure, constant and motivational – the aspirational moment. Anne Kong, member of the GIA expert jury, shares her thoughts.

For some, an aspirational moment is walking through the ABC Carpet Emporium in New York City, where the floor plan wends like an enchanting street of quaint shops with exotic finds; even the scent is reminiscent of faraway bazaar. Here, the shopper is entwined in a web of curated inspiration, resembling something of a retail treasure hunt, enticed by the romantic notion to leave with a souvenir. 

For other shoppers, the classic grandeur of Harrods can cause the heart to miss a beat. The luxurious store interior, varying from vaulted gold ceilings to intricate dark wood molding and polished marble, transports the shopper to a new destination on every floor. The experience catapults one back in time, to the feeling of a luxury cruise ship on a faraway voyage. 

Whether it’s a bustling market in San Miguel Mexico or a tiny family-owned shop off the beaten path, these shopping experiences have one thing in common: they thrust our emotions into overdrive. Shoppers in this day and age wanderlust for some form of tangible satisfaction they don’t get from shopping online. They are yearning for more than the banal chore of just “shopping” – they are looking to be transported and to experience the feelings of discovery. Consumers crave distinctive products that can’t be found everywhere; they value the story behind the brand and merchandise. They look for Instagram-worthy displays or a retail store that is not just a place to purchase goods, but a playground, rich with technology.In short, they are searching for an aspirational moment.   

The popularity of sharing these aspirational moments with hundreds of followers via Instagram has spawned another popular marketplace. The creative imagery of people living adventurous lives on Instagram can taunt our aspirational senses, as we find ourselves in the never-ending search of that perfect moment to share. Much like the editorial pages of a magazine, Instagram provides viewers with a steady stream of curated images where grammers can share their travels, food, projects, shopping finds or latest experience. Incredibly, this social media platform has now become host to one of the most successful shopping networks showcasing millions of products, window displays, and merchandising stories. With the help of filters, geotags, hashtags and shopping tags, Instagram makes capturing a moment not only enchanting but searchable for shoppers. It has become the new form of “display” for retail stores, with a single post racking upwards of 68K likes and hundreds of comments.  

The good news for retailers is that Instagram provides more mileage for existing store displays, opening a new chapter for retailers to convey stories about their products in a bespoke and memorable style. Windows and store displays are not just for the person walking down the street; visual merchandising has embraced the social media’s format to be grammable.

“Grammable” visual merchandising can mean either creating specialty displays for the sole purpose of consumer Instagramming, or retail displays designed specifically for the brand’s Instagram feed. Today, designing displays for Instagram incorporates a strong degree of storytelling and theatrics; posts must be visually stimulating through the use of composition and color, and translate well for the scale of a smartphone. Here traditional display skills resound. It’s goes beyond designing a beautiful still-life; the product presentation must perform like work of art or moment in time. Using advanced display techniques that incorporate color, symmetry, visual contrast, repetition, humor, nostalgia or shock value can prove extremely effective. Great displays must tantalize the senses, even from the lit screen of a small smart phone. Below are several good examples posted by Le Creuset of how products can thematically tell a compelling story. 

Inside a brick and mortar store, Instagram opportunities can engage and entertain consumers using a number of methods. Perhaps it is a photo-op that allows friends to hop into a scene and become a part of the store’s Instagram feed – be it a graphic or illustration. Posing with a life-size celebrity or standing near a motivational ‘quote of the day’ on the wall is more than a mere snapshot. Seasonal displays can create opportunities for shoppers to play and experiment. For example, the retail store Story created a Halloween skull made from Converse sneakers that materialized from the camera’s view. 

Brands can stream live stories to give consumers insight into a product or promotion, to share events, or spread excitement about a product launch or demonstration. The beauty is, all of these tactics can be searchable by a simple hashtag, enabling the post to gain even more traction. 

According to Instagram’s data, 60 percent of IG users discover products through the platform and 50 percent of users follow at least one business account. Instagram’s ability to reach millions of shoppers in minutes makes it a powerful tool – one that retailers must use actively in order to successfully connect their brands and products with consumers. The ability to create and share aspirational moments, within a branded context, has caused a seismic shift in shopping culture and outreach. 

Instagram also provides endless amounts of inspiration and market intel to retailers and visual merchandisers themselves. No longer is it necessary to trek from store to store to comp shop in order to understand our competitors and the current trends – all of this information is now available through the eyes of friends, influencers, brands and celebrities. Additionally, users can sort and save a library of posts for inspiration under Instagram’s collections feature in the user profile. Saving posts to collections by name is a useful tool for future reference and backtracking. By tapping the bookmark icon underneath a post you can direct it to one of your saved collections, eliminating the need to screenshot it. 

In short, Instagram has changed the landscape of many industries, and visual merchandising and display is not exempt. It’s up to retailers and visual merchandisers to continue finding ways to integrate the Instagram experience into their brick and mortar stores and maximize its potential. Don’t underestimate the connection between Instagram and shopping a brick and mortar store, both immerse the consumer into a flurry of aspiration. Happy Gramming!

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

  • News
  • August 22, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Michael Hill International posts $17m profit

Jewellery retailer Michael Hill International has reported a lift in profit but is feeling the pinch of lower sales and squeezed margins.

Read more
 
 

Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

  • Design
  • August 22, 2019
  • Findlay Buchanan
Dylan Mulder explores new digital frontiers in the fashion world

“What might a Louis Vuitton or Off-White digital piece of clothing be like?” Matthew Drinkwater, head of the Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, mused to Vogue in April earlier this year. The question came in the wake of Carlings, a multi brand Scandinavian retailer, selling out its first digital-only clothing line. The process saw fashion designers manipulate photos of customers, so it appeared as though they were dressed up in Carlings' apparel. Customers would then go on to share the photos of themselves on digital platforms, Instagram, Facebook, and the rest, without actually having to wear the clothes.

Read more
 
 

Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

  • News
  • August 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Gem Retail Hotlist: Be Free Grocer flourishes in Palmerston North

Retail isn’t an obvious next step for a couple who met during five years’ volunteering at a Malaysian wildlife sanctuary, but Bronwyn Green and David Phillips’ passion for animals has led them to tackle waste management from the shopfloor. Green shared insights about their plastic-free grocery store Be Free Grocer with The Register.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

The bridal industry changes driving Karen Walker’s new Atelier range

  • Design
  • August 20, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
The bridal industry changes driving Karen Walker’s new Atelier range

In the last couple of years, Kiwi fashion designers like Ingrid Starnes, Juliette Hogan and Paris Georgia have rolled out bridal ranges. Now they’ve been joined by Karen Walker. We asked Walker what’s behind the rise of designer bridal.

Read more
 
 
News

Are you on The Retail Hotlist 2019?

Join us in celebrating the vitality and innovation of New Zealand’s retail sector by voting for The Retail Hotlist. The NZ Retail team and Gem, ...

 

Shop with The Register: Dress up for New Zealand Fashion Week

  • News
  • August 19, 2019
  • The Register
Shop with The Register: Dress up for New Zealand Fashion Week

Retailers are busy, and busy people don’t have time to be constantly catwalk-ready. But if you’d like to shine a little brighter while checking out the new season apparel at New Zealand Fashion Week, here’s some great ideas for professional women.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}