JCPenney & Nordstrom Embrace In-store Pop-ups

What Happened
In what is shaping up to be a hot trend in physical retail, pop-up store-within-a-store is gaining traction among some big-name retailers. Earlier this week, JCPenney announced its plan to let Nike set up shops in over 600 stores locations across the country. The in-store Nike shops will be prominently placed within the stores’ men’s department and feature an extensive assortment of apparel and accessories. This is the second national retail partnership JCPenney has arranged, following its decision to add cosmetics retailer Sephora to more than 500 locations in 2015.

Similarly, fashion retailer Nordstrom is embracing the “pop-in” concept with a three-part collaboration series with South Korean fashion and beauty brands. The series, titled KPOP-In@Nordstrom, kicked off in January with a partnership with Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster, which has set up a makeup station area in select Nordstrom locations.  Previously, Nordstrom has partnered with fashion brands such as Topshop, Madewell, New Classics, Warby Parker, and Bow & Drape for similar pop-up initiatives.

What Retailers Need To Do
One obvious reason why such partnerships are gaining momentum is that, challenged by the fierce competition of the fast-growing online retailers, big-box retailers are starting to reconsider their retail strategy and becoming more open to invite outsider brands to deliver an in-store customer experience that hopefully will drive foot traffic.

Besides, brick-and-mortar retailers are also retooling their stores to become more experience-focused, and bringing in new brands to set up temporary shops is a cost-efficient way to refresh the in-store experience and keep shoppers interested. For example, the new Nike flagship store in downtown Manhattan is designed to let customers try on different products in common workout scenarios such as playing basketball or jogging. For retailers, these examples of experiential retail should serve as inspirations to figure out how to craft an engaging in-store experience that attracts shoppers.

How We Can Help
To that point, brick-and-mortar retailers can also benefit greatly by leveraging the digital technologies available to deliver a unique in-store experience. The Lab has extensive experience working with retail, beauty, and CPG clients to create and implement digitally-enhanced experiences for their stores. The recently-opened NYX Cosmetics store at Union Square is a proud showcase of our team’s work in crafting a digitally enhanced, innovative retail experience.

If you’d like to learn more about how your brand can develop an updated retail strategy and implement digital-driven retail solutions to transform your in-store experience, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: Glossy & Total Retail


Mall Of America And Nordstrom Launch Chatbots To Better Serve Holiday Shoppers

What Happened
Retailers continue to explore new customer experiences powered by chatbots as two more prominent U.S. retailers launched their respective bot services. Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping center located just south of Minneapolis, worked with IBM to leverage Watson’s cognitive computing power to develop a chatbot service that can help visitors navigate the sprawling shopping center and suggest routes and activities according to user input on how much time they have and what they are looking for. The chatbot is accessible via MoA’s Facebook Page as well as via a mobile web browser.

Similarly, Nordstrom launched its first chatbot on the Facebook Messenger and Kik on Monday to help holiday shoppers pick out gift items. The bot will start by asking a series of questions about who they are shopping for and then suggests appropriate gifts from Nordstrom’s online store accordingly. Nordstrom says the chatbot will available to consumers up until December 24.

What Brands Should Do
This is the latest example in retailers exploring chatbots’ potential in conversational ecommerce. Earlier this week, Sam’s Club also launched a “gift genie” chatbot that aims to help shoppers select holiday gifts. The rise of conversational commerce points to changing consumer behavior on mobile and a shift in brand-customer interaction.  According to a recent research from DigitasLBi and Harris Poll, more than a third of U.S shoppers surveyed said they’d be willing to make a purchase through a chatbot and spend as much as $55.80 on each order. As more brands start to realize the vast potential of chatbots, it is imperative that they find the right partner to work with to develop effective conversational customer experiences.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building branded chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The NiroBot we built in collaboration with Ansible for Kia is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a chatbot experience supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client and learning opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) to schedule a visit to the Lab.


Source: VentureBeat & Business Insider