Thursday 14 March 2013

Showroom retailing with a difference - you try on clothes in store, but must buy online...

At the Bonobos Guideshop in Washington, D.C., visitors can sip on beer while they try on clothes for size, but they can only purchase by placing an order on the website. The clothes are then delivered for free within two business days.

Target audience: 
The try-before-you-buy strategy is ideal for men who want to look good but hate shopping. Shoppers who book an appointment at a Guideshop - and there are only two appointments an hour, so the shop is never crowded - are greeted by personal shoppers who hand them a beer and guide them to well-fitted clothes, with the benefits of trying-on outweighing any disadvantages

Inventory economies
From the traditional retailer's point of view, where it's very difficult to get the right sizes for each location, the Bonobos model means nothing is out of stock at a store unless it's out of stock companywide. In other words they are able to deliver the same productivity with a fraction of the typical inventory investment

Other trying-retailers emerging
Online eyewear dealer Warby Parker and Gap's Piperlime Internet label have been opening up physical locations for consumers to try on the goods, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to open stores, where customers can check out the Kindle line. It's all an attempt to ride on the $150 billion-a-year in sales success of Apple, whose hands-on-centric stores changed the focus from buying to trying.

Bonobos opened up its first Guideshop in May 2012 in New York and now has locations in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and D.C.. Five more are planned by the end of the year.

The trying future?
It is easy to dismiss the Bonobos approach as one-off, but think why consumers visit shops -trial-  and then eliminate all the elements that do not directly contribute to that process, allowing retailers to really concentrate on enriching the experience, with no distractions...welcome to the new world of ultimate shopper marketing?

More detail and video here 

No comments: