Showrooms as “stores”…and even more?

By Jeremy Bergstein, President, The Science Project

The store of the future is now. Brands around the world are investing millions of dollars in rebuilding entire retail platforms, reconsidering the role physical store plays in the wider customer journey. This raises the question, though, what will the role of shops be in the future?

Will they merely be places people will go to buy products, or will they just be another touchpoint in the modern customer journey? Probably not. But will they be:

At the Science Project, we believe the store of the future is already here, and it can do it all.  Showrooms are the critical link between physical and digital, and smart brands have begun to adopt them. Customers want, and even need, one cohesive customer journey, and it’s the job of a brand to enable that journey.

For modern success, showrooms must:

  • Serve as an ‘anchor.’ creating a gathering point for entire regions
  • Gather data, so that brands actually know their customers and can collect data to create DTC relationships off premises after they leave.

Brands need to look at showrooms, or whatever kind of store they are implementing, with modern analytics, not the same systems they have been using for the last 20 years. The modern customer wants to be able to shop a brand wherever, whenever,  and however they want.  Brands must allow them to do that, identify what products speak to individual customers, and then re-target individuals when they want to be retargeted, and are ready to make a purchase.

The ultimate achievement for a modern brand is to engage customers anywhere & sell inventory at anytime.