The Evolution of Retail: Enhancing the Customer Journey


Taking urban retail into the future

The headlines are dire. Retailers are worried. Physical shops are closing down. Consumers are seduced by quick, easy, and cheap solutions that are often negative to profit margins, growth and the environment. But is the era of city retail really dead?

That need not be the case. The customer journeys don’t have to be limited to the online ecosystem. Using an innovative mind to direct customers to physical stores is just as important. The future of retail is bright for forward-thinking brands that are willing to embrace new ways of doing business.


A new dimension of pop-up stores

The concept of pop-up stores has been with us for quite a while now and the advantages are many. The brand gets more flexibility, can offer their customers a unique experience and capitalize on this buzzy concept. Pop-ups can also create a sense of novelty and exclusivity as they are temporary. However, it is not the innovation of pop-up stores itself that is the prominent thing but rather the execution of it.

Alexander Wang x Adidas Originals collaboration, for example, created a buzz by combining social media with an innovative pop-up concept: a pop-up truck going from New York to London to Tokyo. Fans followed the pop-up mobile store on the Adidas Originals Snapchat and inside was the exclusive capsule collection.

Another example was the launch of Chanel’s “Red Coco” where they created the “Coco Game Club” in Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Combining the pop-up concept with virtual games around lip products, beauty and an electric atmosphere with DJ’s and influencers was a true success.

In Malmö, a micro-department store that embrace new ways of doing business recently opened, Beyond Us – the urban market. It combines pop-up sales with a new dimension of unique brands and workspace for rent. Furthermore, it has an insta-zone, coffee shop, a click and collect service with relaxed fitting rooms, so that you can try what you have ordered on arrival. This concept takes a full grip of the customer journey and make it personal and inspirational.


The new retail landscape – context and personalization

The key to getting ahead in the retail buzz is to meet the customers where they interact with the brand and explore how this interaction works. The days of broadcasting a marketing message to one monolithic group of customers have passed. Each customer is different and should be offered contextual interactions that are personalized to their particular situation. Our lives online, mirrors our real lives. Technology has allowed marketers to craft messages on a one-to-one basis between their brand, a single shopper and where they are in their customer journey. Context and personalization form a powerful tool to build strong customer attraction for brands and fulfil the enhanced customer journey consumers are seeking.

Trends shaping the future

Stores will still serve its purpose, but their prime function will be the customer experience and personalization. Tedious tasks, like logistics, will become more and more automated and simplified, but we have to keep in mind that the five human senses can only be stimulated in store. We predict following three trends that will shape retail in 2020:

1. The development of responsible consumption and sustainability.
2. Hybrid businesses, where physical and digital experience are combined
3. New ways of marketing and interacting with the customers, for example via Messenger and other chat based social media platforms that personalize the costumer journey.

At the end of the day, it is innovation and agility that we’re after and need to strive for. Innovation that is not only digital, functional, or creative – but, a combination of all three that bonds us together and allows growth.


Copenhagen inspires with colours

A visit to Copenhagen, Denmark can surely be an inspiring and eye-opening experience. The city is filled with colourful buildings, a fabulous food scene, culture and laid-back atmosphere. The Adentity team decided to take the 30 min train over to the neighbouring country for an inspiring day to kick-off work after the summer holidays. Ready for a whistle-stop tour of the city’s best bits handpicked by Adentity? Let’s go!

A good start of the day

Our first tip is for the early birds. About 10 min stroll from Copenhagen H, through the heart of the city, you find the coffee bar Kompa’ 9, located on Strædet. There we started off with some of their organic coffee and a proper Danish breakfast in a cosy surrounding.


A colourful museum visit

With filled stomachs and energy, we continued to Copenhagen’s waterfront to the Danish Architecture Center (DAC). The exhibitions at DAC showcase architectural wonders, international trends and design history. We went to see the exhibition of the world-renowned Danish architects BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group on an architectural journey across time from Big Bang to Singularity. A truly inspiring and colourful exhibition showingBIG’s borderless creativity and how they give form to our future.

Don’t forget to visit the DAC Café, where you are able to experience Copenhagen’s vibrant city life from high above at the large rooftop terraces. To one side, you have spectacular views of the vibrant waterfront, and to the other, the Copenhagen Cultural District. We decided for a cold beverage on their comfortable sunbeds before we continued our day.


Doing lunch

After a walk from DAC we arrived for some lunch at the meat packing district Kødbyen, a creative cluster with a broad range of high-quality restaurants. We decided to try out the hip brewpub WarPigs – an experience out of the ordinary. Besides from offering freshly made American-Danish style craft beer, WarPigs also serves authentic Texas barbecue.


Street art tour

Next up on the agenda was a street art tour in the districts of Vesterbro. Although graffiti is omnipresent in Copenhagen, street art is something entirely different. The street art in Copenhagen usually covers an entire side of a building in an artistic manner and adds significant value to the neighbourhood. We went to see some iconic pieces, one just by our lunch place, then we continued to one at Oehlenschlægersgade, Sankelmarksgade and lastly Saxogade.


Afternoon adventures

A bus ride later we arrived at our final destination, Reffen. An urban playground for co-creation, innovation, food and creativity – and last but not least – the largest street food market in the Nordics. The Adentity team tried some interesting food and enjoyed the beautiful surrounding before heading back to Malmö, filled with inspiration, feeling refreshed and ready to start off new exciting projects.