The role of the physical space is shifting from a transactional model to an experiential one. With this in mind and the recent digitalisation of famous London stores, our strategy team thought it was about time we checked out this trend. First stops, the Audi City and Burberry flagship stores.
Well Audi – thank you. It appears you have eradicated the modest car dealer experience. Let’s welcome the interactive and enjoyable Audi City. The core experience is based around using your body to select, create and customise your car on the huge high-res displays. We found ourselves completely immersed in what can only be described as an Audi-like Xbox Kinect game. And this is where its effectiveness lies: we were at the centre of the integrated experience. Our ideas were being brought to life by technology; all facilitated by a car brand. It gave us a sense that Audi are technologically cutting-edge, innovative and, dare we say it, cool. We can certainly see this concept as something luxury car brands could take on in the near future.
Conversely we witnessed technology teething issues at Burberry’s flagship store. Excited by the chance to try out the so-called ‘magic mirrors’, we were left disappointed when the magic, otherwise known as RFID microchips, didn’t work. However, there were areas of real potential, particularly with Burberry’s ‘bespoke’ service. Admittedly, the service is nothing more than a dutiful sales assistant armed, ‘Bespoke’ page ready, with a Mac laptop humorously disguised within a suave wooden case. However, the service is better than you would have at home. And among Burberry’s other digital advancements – the inclusion of iPads, large digital displays and so forth – it appears that they’re moving in the right direction. We hope to see such advancements in digitalisation of POS continue.
By Matt Butler, Junior Strategist