This is a series of questions that many try to answer to provide a service that is ever more tailor made for consumers that differ more and more, with widely varying needs. At a time when service is becoming more important that products and when the shop is no longer simply a place but plays an ever greater and complex role, we offer a snapshot of the six principal needs of consumers at this time and the respective answers by some well known brands.
This is the need of a shopper looking for inspiration and looking for stimulating experiences when shopping, with a variety and infinite choice of items, perhaps original and out of the ordinary, able to capture their attention. Often these potential clients are not looking for any item in particular, but need to find a way of buying anyway.
10 Corso Como, a well-known concept store in Milan, certainly represents the height of inspiration - a boutique full of products ranging from clothing to shoes, accessories to books and products for personal care. There each person can find what they are looking for or they think they are looking for, leaving a lot of space for dreaming and imagining what they need.
Who has never been stunned on entering Peck, faced with the furnishing and way the products are displayed? Everyone that loves to be stunned are looking for a shop in which they clearly feel that the goods play a leading role and they are in the presence of good taste.
This type of client only wants to decide what is best for them or what they believe is tops for themselves, they are not looking for help but simply that everything is available and captivates them. SHU Shop, a shoe store in La Valletta, is a perfect example. Here, thanks to a shrewd mix of Japanese architecture, chosen for the display stand and typically Maltese decor, selected to enhance the walls, the product becomes a real hero and is valorised to the highest extent. Obviously, Parigi does not lag behind and Podium displays all their accessories in a antique display cabinet, almost as if they were jewellery.
This is what all of those need that, when they go into a store without any clear idea, are looking for someone to assist them with their choice and purchase. In their uncertainty that was to be reassured that they are making the right choice. The sensation of having everything under control, of not having forgotten anything, and of taking all the variables into account that may affect their final decision, is a determining factor for these people. In this case Brand plays a powerful role because it provides trust and security. Brands like Kiko or the more costly Aesop and Eye Candy become a point of reference for those looking for security and guidance, without giving up on product quality.
And what if shopping becomes a stressful occasion? For many shoppers shopping is a burden. The worry about making a mistake and not choosing the right thing often becomes a barrier. For this reason many brands, especially when it comes to products like cosmetics or clothing, are developing concept stores where the client feels at home, in a friendly place nearby, where they can choose with peace of mind, without being pushed, in a familiar environment.
This is what shoppers are looking for that want to feel "at home" when shopping and want to create a rapport with the Brand. They must therefore be able to move about freely and easily in this type of shop, with open space available to them that does not set up obstacles and puts the Client at ease. Certainly, some categories of goods lend themselves to this type of approach more than others, especially some feminine products, for which the target client likes to choose for themselves. LOV, a well-known French brand of tea gives its clients a very natural welcome, creating an environment that reminds one of a birds' nest.
The wish to be thrilled and excited is certainly a need that is always involved, but often unconsciously. Nowadays, when buying is more and more a time of self-gratification, the point of sale needs to offer an involving experience. Entertain, enjoy, give pleasure, all of this comes about not only via the products on display but also thanks to the synergy of elements like music, scent, and the atmosphere that the environment creates. Shopping, especially in times of crisis, becomes a sensitive time that requires at least the capacity to make it more light-hearted and pleasant.