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From a shopping location to an entertainment location

When brands turn their stores into media


Every other Wednesday, h/commerce provides in-depth analysis of the most impactful trends reshaping retail.

These past months, brands have developed new ways to interact with their communities. Livestreaming, Tiktok as well as gaming were some of the tools brands tried to implement in their communication strategy in order to keep up with our transforming world.

Nowadays consumers are undoubtedly more connected and are also waiting for entertaining experiences.

It is an opportunity for brands to create immersive in-store experiences using social media pattern.

In line with these new standards, new concept stores are born to fulfill consumers’ needs of entertainment and interaction.

Innovative in-store experiences based on social retail


DCM Jennyfer turned its stores into an immersive journey

Early 2021, DCM Jennyfer unveiled two flagships of a new kind. These new stores are in line with the company’s plan to reach its younger audience.

Indeed, the brand began with a social media strategy focusing on Instagram and Tiktok. The brand also partnered with several influencers and created a video magazine called ‘Break’ tackling many topics affecting the younger generation without mentioning the brand’s products.

Then, DCM Jennyfer opened its flagships joining a new retail type called “social retail”.

One of these new stores is located at La Défense, Paris, and provides many innovative services to its shoppers. For tiktokers, some Tiktok booths are available. They can get inside, put their phone on a tripod and select the challenges they want to do on the screen. Some ring lights are even provided to film better videos.

At the center of the store, a special aera called ‘Box-in-the-box’ allows the brand to organize events with influencers, to unveil new collections and even to host live shows.

Some other areas of the store are dedicated to partnering brands such as Nintendo, Cometeshop and Nyx.

These shops are quite different from traditional brick & mortar. They become similar to marketplaces and even turned into media to offer special interactions and a great in-store experience to the audience.

Credits: Republik Retail

Burberry in Shenzhen: the social retail at its peak

On a similar model, last summer Burberry partnered with Tencent to launch a concept store in China’s technology hub Shenzhen. This new ‘social retail’ concept combines brick & mortar retailing with social shopping in a digitally immersive shopper experience. The aim is to engage customers to shop as well as sharing and interacting on social media.

The store is made of several spaces offering a unique and personalized experience. Once in the store, customers are guided by a social currency which evaluates consumers’ instore activity and their engagement towards the brand thanks to a mini program from Wechat. Everything customers do is contributing to build their social currency and give them access to new contents and services. This program also allows customers to create content.

In addition, all products are labelled with QR Codes that connect to digital screen. By scanning QR Codes, the customer unlocks additional contents within the mini program.

Extra services are also available within the store like Thomas’s Café. According to Burberry’s website, the Café is designed into a ‘community space’ allowing customers to join talks, workshops, exhibitions and live performances. Every event can be booked on the mini program.

By combining social media functionalities and brick & mortar features, Burberry provides its customers with an exciting and rewarding experience that they will surely share with their communities.

Source: Burberry

Slipo Ukraine makes grocery shopping entertaining

Silpo is a Ukrainian retail corporation that operates a chain of grocery. The chain creates unique concepts for its stores and each location has a proper design and decoration. It is a themed park atmosphere that the brand provides to its customers. Today Silpo has 273 locations and 70 different themes had been deployed.

The latest store opened in April in Kiev on the theme of ‘Le Petit Prince’ from Saint Exupéry.

Another one opened last march in Bioarja designed after circus arts. The walls are covered with images of circus and the façade is adorned with vintage circus figures.

The aim behind this investment in design is to differ from its competitors and offer a great experience to customers. Thanks to this strategy, each new opening turns into an event.

According to Silpo’s spokesperson “customers are coming to make their selfie in stores’ aisles and then they post it on social media”. As shoppers become brand ambassadors, investment in design is as well a great mean for brand’s advocacy.

During the pandemic, Silpo launched an innovative delivery service. For a little extra money, customers will be delivered by a disguised delivery person.

The idea behind this creative concept is to encourage customers to share their amazement on social platforms to their communities.

Source: Republik Retail

Why is it interesting?

Invest in shopper experience has a great impact on the brand’s advocacy.

Going shopping is nowadays considered as a way to entertain and to connect with its community. While shopping, consumers want to share their experience with their relatives and expect to be informed quickly and get personalized recommendations. Consequently, smartphones are the cornerstone of shopping journeys.

So today, deliver a great in-store experience is not enough. Retailers have to combine social media, e-commerce and physical points of sale patterns in order to reach and engage their consumers. It means that boundaries between physical and digital shopping no longer exist.

It is now every retailer’s job to work on UX design no matter the distribution channel.

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