Recently we explored future formats of shopping malls, but should we have all stores concentrated in one area in the first place? Is this traditional format still best? We’re used to the idea of shopping districts in every town and city, they offer convenience and ease but in most cases they’re also predictable and slow. E-commerce and super-fast delivery in many ways has already decentralised retail but what other formats could we see emerge?
If we take a step back, when our strategy, planning and creative teams think about retail, we want to design and deliver experiences that are engaging, inspiring and most importantly unique to the touchpoint. Why for example why duplicate something that can be perfectly executed on another channel? We’re always puzzled when we see screens in-store that have a brand or retailers’ website, or when a brand creates a digital twin of a real-world store. It makes no sense.
Out of the box thinking
When it comes to out of the box thinking we discovered how Audi’s US business recently partnered with hotel chain 1 Hotels in order to offer test drives to its guests while they’re on holiday. Audi’s e-tron luxury SUV vehicles will be available as the official ‘house car’ at 1 Hotels locations in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Building on the hotel group’s existing offer of providing curated local excursions for its customers, the partnership enables hotel guests to experience driving an Audi e-tron.
Through this is only an initiative, Audi will be able to reach a new customer base beyond traditional showroom environments by rethinking how to engage potential customers. Covid-19 has had an impact on traditional automotive retail spaces, we’ve seen customers shift to online and driving ‘no-touch’ test drives, Audi’s partnership creates an important new touchpoint for car buyers.
To learn more about how we help some of the world’s best brands to think outside the box, get in touch.