Shopping as an event
Real ‘events’ – in the sense of special happenings – are a platform for companies to present products and services in an experiential way. Trend researcher Dr. Miriam Hauser labels the future ideals of customers as ease, familiarity and proximity to source. Supermarkets of today tempt with visuals of countryside origin, such as colourful vegetables in woven baskets sporting miniature chalkboards. Fruit becomes an island of wooden boxes piled with straw and halved cheese wheels pose rank and file on wooden beams whilst hams and salamis sway overhead like an image right out of an Italian holiday. The Swiss department store chain Manor has invested in a completely new store with an integrated supermarket of the “latest generation”, with integrated snack bars where consumers can get their food directly prepared to take away with them. The New York company Perch presents digitally enhanced product presentations with an interactive display technology. Even as the buyer takes the food product in hand, his smartphone has begun customer interaction by showing him pictures, videos and other interesting information about the product and its brand.
But it is not only international food retailers who are coming up with futuristic concepts. Future store designs will also need to let go of established ideas and stand out in areas where the customers are in their daily routine, where they relax, where they feel at home.
BILLA, Austria’s number one supermarket, recently introduced a completely new POS concept that focuses precisely on this approach. Inspiration, information, culinary arts and a distinctly higher level of service are in the foreground. A central aspect of the POS concept is thus communication through images, product information and the style of presenting the goods.