Have you ever been inside a concept store?
A concept store is a shop that sells a curated selection of products or services that correspond to a certain theme. These themes are often centred around specific lifestyles, but they can also be about certain topics or interests. There are concept stores that focus on niche interests in fashion, electronics, entertainment, sports, and so on.
The contents of a concept store are usually a mix of several brands from different product categories. However, you’ll notice that a concept store’s design and layout converge with the main theme. This is intended to create a cohesive and immersive experience for shoppers.
Because concept stores attract specific audiences, offer unique items, and encourage interaction, they often serve as social hubs. It is this aspect that traditional stores may find difficult to replicate, even with in-store promos and campaigns.
Concept Stores vs. Themed Stores
Concept stores and themed stores are similar, but they are not interchangeable terms. To start off, not all themed stores are concept stores.
The main difference between a concept store and a themed store is that themed stores usually feature just one brand. In contrast, concept stores always offer multibrand or unbranded options.
Themed brand stores aim to create an exclusive relationship with a shopper and reduce competition. They often focus on themes that are relevant to the brand or their target market. It is a form of branded experience.
On the other hand, a concept store focuses on a specific interest, with no preference for any particular brand. It aims to offer as many products, services, and activities related to the theme as possible.
As a result, communities tend to form around concept stores. These communities include both shoppers and retailers who share a common interest.
How Do Retailers Benefit From Concept Stores?
We already know that people enjoy going to concept stores, but what do store owners and brands get from these establishments?
Concept stores help strengthen brand recall by creating a memorable experience. They also help increase positive word-of-mouth, which can help increase awareness and engagement. All these things result in a boost in sales.
Brands that get featured in concept stores share the same benefits. For newer brands, it is a good way to get discovered by potential customers in their target market. Since concept stores aren’t limited to a single brand or product category, there’s always something to explore there for the customer. This helps retailers sell more products.
What Are the Characteristics of a Successful Concept Store?
Given the competitive nature of retail, what are the hallmarks of a successful concept store? How can a concept store set them apart from the competition?
While traditional stores focus on the latest trends, concept stores are known for offering unique, quirky, and hard-to-find items. Use original concept store ideas that will spark curiosity and encourage customers to enter your store.
Adding experiential or interactive elements can help enhance its appeal and boost recall. For example, you can offer online, face-to-face, or hybrid events. You can also give freebies to encourage reciprocity and repeat business.
Create a Sense of Urgency
There’s a reason why “FOMO” (fear of missing out) is a catchphrase. Most people hate missing out on products or experiences. Use this to your advantage by offering short-term or exclusive on-site deals that will encourage consumers to make an impulse purchase. Another way to stir excitement is by releasing teasers before new items are up for sale.
Leverage Social Media
Just because yours is a brick-and-mortar store does not mean you can’t connect to your customers online. Use your website and social media accounts to keep your customers updated. Offer deals and post content of the brands that are being featured in your concept store to encourage them to shop in person. These virtual communities can help you reach a wider audience.
Use Flexible Designs
A concept store needs constant updating to stay fresh and interesting. As such, you’ll need modular store components that can easily be restructured, moved, and redesigned. Your setup should accommodate promos, seasonal displays, events, product updates and more. Don’t forget to pay attention to lighting, as it can drastically change and improve your store’s interior design.
Understand Customer Psychology
The key to successfully running a concept store is knowing how your target customers think. Stay relevant by understanding what they need, what makes them happy, why and when they buy, and how best to serve them. Get customer feedback so you know which strategies work and which ones need to be changed.
Break the Mould With The Concierge Club
A concept store is all about providing a fascinating customer experience from day one. Your grand opening paves the way for future business, so make it spectacular. From the idea, to the decor, to your main event, our event specialists can make your store unforgettable and engage your customers in ways ordinary launch parties can’t.
If you want to create a memorable experience for your customers and keep them coming back, talk to us at The Concierge Club and we’ll help make your concept store the talk of your town (and beyond).