See Things Differently
Working at London Calling on behalf of The Orchard I was struck by one recurrent theme repeated by retailers – the emphasis they place on combining the store with a social network. It seems that no store can launch now without a social networking capacity, with the distinction constantly blurring between the two. Clearly there is recognition amongst retailers that to entice people back to your store you have to offer them something beyond the ‘simple’ retail experience of browsing and buying. Now people want to share playlists, friends and personal details before, during and after.
How will the giants of online retail react? Will iTunes and Amazon introduce a dating service alongside playlist information? Will MySpace sell direct? Many of the new stores, I think, will try to become all things to all people and fail by being second rate at everything. However, a couple of the new stores I saw have genuine, ground breaking approaches and it will be interesting to see how they square up to the current incumbents.