Customers have different expectations from the retail experience, with the onset of online shopping. Anyone can find anything from anywhere, and often at a better rate. Convenience will always play a need, forcing customers to look for a Telstra store in Melbourne, but more and more people are turning to the internet for business solutions.
Physical retail spaces need to offer unique features and experiences that customers can’t get online to justify their existence. Despite this, shoppers still prefer the physical shopping experience, according to a recent global consumer survey from PWC. 40% of consumers make purchases inside a store at least once a week, with 65% saying they shopped in-store to avoid delivery fees and 61% saying they liked to try an item before they buy it. This is causing retailers to reconsider the traditional storefront layout in new and imaginative ways, to give the customers what they want.
Telstra’s consumer boss Karsten Wildberger experienced a revelation in retail design while working with retail designer Geyer, leading to just such a change.
Sales Room As Dancefloor
Geyer compared the sales room to a dance floor, prompting a conversation about openness and movement. These conversations would result in Wildberger massively overhauling Telstra’s flagship shop in Melbourne. Wildberger completely removed the main checkout point, which created a barrier between the sales staff and the clients. A variety of stations ring the 121 square meter shop, ranging from sitting to standing, to meet the needs of different clientele. Wildberger even had the inventory brought to the front-of-house, so the sales staff doesn’t have to break the customer interaction.
Wildberger and Geyer’s design seems to be working. While they haven’t disclosed the exact earnings of the flagship store, the results are in line with two Banks Of Queensland, whose business doubled after redesigning for increased customer interaction.
Of course, these results have a cost. It takes money to redesign or build a storefront, and Wildberger’s customer-centric business model requires more, and better trained, staff. This is better news for everybody, however, as customers get to have a more relaxed and attentive interaction with a salesperson who actually cares what they want, and knows how to find them the best deals. The attractive and pleasant shopping experience almost makes it more pleasant to browse, keeping up with the latest phones and apps.
With the internet becoming increasingly interwoven into our daily lives, critical redesigns of the physical shopping experience will occur. Shopping will become more of a luxury experience, more about one-on-one interaction and actual attention from knowledgeable sales staff.