In 1876 John Wanamaker created what was at the time the first shopping mall and department store in Philadephia. First store to bring multiple brands and retailers under 1 roof… First store to have electrical lighting, first store to have a phone number that you could call. My opinion is that basically since then, things have been pretty boring in the retail scene. We saw brief glimpses of hope in the last 90s…but that was followed by a bit of a nuclear winter. But there’s some really good new: for the first time since 1876, I think retail is finally get the injection of innovation it has so badly needed. The next 5 years are going to be some of the most exciting years of retail innovation of the last 150 years.
On the topic of the future of Retail… I thought it might be cool to run through some of my favorites shops on Shopify, and those in the particular stores that have built an incredible business using our platform AND those are using a retail model or technique that didn’t really exist even a few year ago. Now I only have 20 minutes, to present 13 case studies…but I’ll try to cover as much as I can given the time constraints.
GoldieBlox (when a customer comes to her website, they can immediately watch a video about who Debbie Sterling is and why she started the company. You can create a relationship with them instantly, unlike in a brick and mortar store)
Great example of a Modal…a simple lightbox… RJ Metrics most recent report says that the typical online store gets 43% of revenue from repeat purchases Viral sales loops – making every shopper an ambassador for your shop, and creating a distributed sales force Pay for a single customer once…get many customers out of it.. Craig Dalton: &quot; Customer referrals are a critical part of our business. When a customer makes a referral it means they not only love your product, but they love your story. Seeing the tweets go out from our customers on a daily basis is like a virtual pat on the back!&quot;
Snow storms in canada…as as common as hipsters in SF.
red light by budweiser: They built a product entirely based around an experience. No one NEEDS a Budweiser Red Light, but it makes the game-watching experience that much more memorable and exciting. It also captures the spirit of a nation, and focuses on Canada&apos;s love of all things hockey. They use interesting gimmicks -- like a huge zeppelin they flew and dubbed &quot;the world&apos;s biggest goal light.&quot;
As a design centric brand, Herschel Supply wanted a way to share their imagery and inspirations with their audience, beyond digital. This isn’t just content marketing. Launched in August 2012 and produced bi-annually, The Journal is a PRINTED curated collection of seasonal articles, inspiring stories, insightful interviews and beautiful imagery. What effect has it had so far on the brand? On sales? The Journal has successfully shared Herschel Supply’s story with people from all over the world. Both the first and second issues have been received overwhelmingly well, with positive feedback from Herschel Supply’s global wholesale accounts and consumers. we have observed increases in foot traffic and increased engagement on social media.
Chubbies: They choose to only sell one thing: &quot;We don&apos;t do pants. We don&apos;t do cargos. We don&apos;t do capris. We do shorts and only shorts.” (They state this in their Manifesto.) In a brick and mortar store, it would be hard to sell only one product – you&apos;d likely have to diversify your offering to make more sales. Being online, however, you can market worldwide to those people who just HATE pants, and love a good pair of shorts.`
“Freshly BAKED” Johnny Cupcakes: They release new product launches every single week. They even call their shops “Bakeries” It also makes customers eager to come back each week to see what new collection has arrived. Johnny Cupcakes has cultivated a fan base that are always wondering what&apos;s going to be added next. Justin Hiltz, executive at Johnny Cupcakes I think that excitement is passed onto our customers as they’re used to us dropping new products seemingly out of nowhere, so they’re always eagerly awaiting what we’ll come out with next. Our best days are always those that see us releasing new products, even if it’s just a single item.”
Best Made Company: This is an example of a company beautifully combining their online and offline presence. However, they also advertise workshops and custom-built ax series that take place in their store in NYC. FREE in person workshops…not so ppl can buy, but rather so they can’t buy, but get excited about the products Be it Axe Restoration, Field Medicine training, or Foraged Cocktail Making,
Pink+Dolphin: They publish their &quot;LookBook&quot; online. It’s a recipe guide for how to wear their products – what goes with what, and even how to match other products
FiftyThree, Inc: A product video is integrated right into the homepage. You don&apos;t even need to hit play – it just begins to show you what the Pencil can do as soon as you arrive. - Andrew Allen, co-founder of FiftyThree Photos didn’t do the trick of demonstrating drawing, erasing, blending. - Embedded video / Emersive video – as you are emersed in the experience when you land there…. &quot;The vision for the homepage video was to have a live full-screen experience that would place you inside the scene. Intangibles like feel, warmth, and utility require more than just a photo, and the beauty of Pencil comes from seeing the many ways it&apos;s used—drawing, erasing, blending.”
Hero Banner Reviews using Twitter – updated in real time… Buy Me Brunch: This is a great example of how easily personality can come through on a website. Customers take photos of themselves wearing clothing, and tag it on social media. That way, other customers can see how those clothes fit on real human beings, and see how popular each product is. This is a whole new way for customers to provide testimonials that is only made possible online.
Gamification of retail: Strava is asking people to complete certain physical challenges (which they track using Strava’s tool). If they achieve it, they’re given access to limited edition jerseys, bike kits, etc. HERO Banner + carousel Because Strava monitors your exercise, our system knows when you’ve completed the challenge. We send an automated email telling you that you’ve won the right to purchase a limited edition jersey commemorating the event. For one challenge, we offered a shirt made by Rapha, which is the Patagonia of cycling gear. We saw a 9% conversion rate. For us, this was a huge milestone.” “In January, we did better than all of Q4 last year.
If you’d like to see other shops, a great place to do that is at shopify.com/examples OK, I only have a few minutes left. I mentioned that the next 5 years are likely going to be some of the most interesting times for retail and commerce of the last 150. One thing that I didn’t mention, but I think is worth sharing is that I also think that the these next 5 years of retail will be dominated by creators and curators – NOT big box physical – no matter how much money they spend on innovation – or try to…
Here’s what I mean On cyber Monday, 2013, in aggregate the stores on shopify saw more traffic than the likes of best buy, walmart, and target and sears… I am really excited about these next 5 years, I think retail is ripe for a revolution. Everyone talks about the future of retail, but the truth is, THIS is the future of retail.