In-store games, make-up apps woo shop­pers

Singapore Business Review - - CONTENTS -

When en­tre­pre­neur Mark Huang opened Level Up in Clarke Quay in 2017, it gen­er­ated a lot of buzz as the is­land’s first-ever ar­cade bar. Huang noted the nov­elty of Level Up’s con­cept­cus­tomers can spend time and money in food and games all in one place.

Sin­ga­pore is start­ing to see more mixed re­tail con­cepts like

Level Up’s that com­bine food, play, and shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ences, said Ju­liana Cai, an­a­lyst at RHB. “In this digi­tised era where food de­liv­ery apps are sprout­ing, we think that the ‘play­ing el­e­ment’ at th­ese bars gives con­sumers a more com­pelling rea­son to visit the phys­i­cal out­lets,” she said.

“With this, we are able to keep guests at Level Up for longer pe­ri­ods of time. Mar­ket re­ac­tion has been good and we are con­stantly try­ing to bet­ter the ex­pe­ri­ence for the cus­tomer,” said Huang.

Aside from launch­ing mixed con­cept stores, Cai said re­tail­ers are also up­dat­ing their store vi­su­als to woo younger cus­tomers. “Mil­len­ni­als are im­age-con­scious and do not like to be seen step­ping into an ‘un­cool’ shop. As such, brands must con­stantly re­fresh their im­age to at­tract the younger crowd,” she said.

Wat­sons Sin­ga­pore and Sephora Sin­ga­pore have also spruced up their stores with the help of tech­nol­ogy by in­cor­po­rat­ing in­ter­ac­tive dig­i­tal screens that al­low con­sumers to try on makeup vir­tu­ally. “Such fea­tures are fuss-free, more hy­gienic, and at­tract dig­i­tal-savvy mil­len­ni­als to en­ter the stores to try on new prod­ucts and have fun. This en­cour­ages cus­tomers to try more prod­ucts, have fun, and hope­fully buy more,” said Cai.

Flag­ship stores

An­other key strat­egy for re­tail­ers to draw in more cus­tomers is to open flag­ship stores. Ma­jor re­tail play­ers like Uniqlo have led the trend, and this has con­vinced the likes of Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret and Ap­ple to fol­low suit. Muji opened its flag­ship store in Plaza Sin­ga­pura in 2017, whilst tech­nol­ogy and elec­tron­ics re­tailer Chal­lenger opened a flag­ship store in Bugis Junc­tion.

As re­tail­ers fur­ther em­brace th­ese novel ap­proaches in their phys­i­cal stores, Sin­ga­pore’s re­tail sales in­dex has shown a fairly pos­i­tive trend, reach­ing 2% over­all growth for the first four months of 2018, ac­cord­ing to RHB. “The past three years of in­ten­si­fy­ing com­pe­ti­tion from e-com­merce and muted con­sumer spend­ing have com­pelled re­tail­ers to be less com­pla­cent, and they are now re­vamp­ing them­selves to reel in con­sumers to spend,” said Cai. “Many re­tail­ers have not only em­braced on­line plat­forms but also rein­vested in phys­i­cal stores to im­prove the over­all brand ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Sin­ga­pore’s re­tail sales in­dex has shown a fairly pos­i­tive trend, reach­ing 2% over­all growth for the first four months of 2018.

Level-up bar’s in-store ar­cade

Wat­son’s Sin­ga­pore’s vir­tual make-up app screens

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