Dyson Demo – Experiential Retail

Dyson, typically associated with selling products via third party retailers (although they have their own e-commerce arm), has launched its own physical store in the UK called Dyson Demo. This is the first time Dyson has had its own dedicated retail space in the UK. Opting for the high footfall of Oxford Street, Dyson has taken a bold move into the world of bricks and mortar retail.

Dyson Demo

WHAT IS THE DEAL?

 

Stocking only 65 products, it follows the model of Apple’s store in its clean, sleek and minimalist design. Where things get really interesting is that, in a similar vein to other retailers in the area, they are incorporating other elements to the retail experience. There are hair styling stations where customers can test the Supersonic hairdryer and get styling advice.

The store is called Dyson Demo in a clear message to customers that the purpose of this store is NOT about retailing, but about experiencing the products. As Chief Exec Max Conze says, “we call it a Dyson Demo – not a store – because it is really about bringing the products to life.” In fact, there are no fixed payment tills on the site at all.

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT DYSON DEMO?

 

My view is that this is a bold move to take, but if anyone can do it, Dyson can. They enjoy almost the same reverence amongst consumers as Apple does, with its clear branding, its innovative products and its reputation for pushing the boundaries.

Dyson also has a reputation for products that sit at the premium end of the spectrum (the Supersonic hairdryer is £300) and this retail concept serves as a reinforcement that this is a premium brand, which has the luxury of making a high-stakes investment in retail.

Supersonic hairdryer

The store is likely to attract attention from a lot of tourists and visitors to London, given its location. The footfall is likely to be very high and Dyson will need to ensure the customer experience within the store itself matches up to the expectation when customers walk through the door. Dyson must ensure that the flow around the store is optimal, and that the retail experience provides plenty of engagement. Dyson look like they are being very creative with how customers can experiment with the different products – there are apparently 64 varieties of dust and dirt they can test their vacuums on!

The store is also likely to want to attract the more affluent shopper; those in need of home comfort technology and with the spare cash to purchase it. Whether it succeeds in attracting these shoppers is another matter, and one for Dyson to monitor over time.

The move into bricks and mortar for Dyson is a move towards ‘Try Before You Buy’, a trend that involves picking up and experiencing products before you buy. In the technology sector in particular, it can help customers to understand why and how we may use new technologies to improve our lives.

EXPERIENTIAL RETAIL

 

Experiential Retail is a very headline friendly thing to do for retailers and brands, particularly amongst the marketing and retail trade press!  People like to see brands trying new things and finding different ways to retail their products. In my view Experiential Retail can be a bit too ‘London Centric’ and it would be good to see these sorts of concepts make their way out beyond Zone 1 to show that this is genuinely about customer experience rather than grabbing complimentary PR.

Another brand that is well versed with Experiential Retail is Tesco. Tesco is set to open its first Finest pop-up wine bar in London later this summer. Tesco Finest Wine Bar will open its doors for the first time on 2nd August in Soho’s Wardour Street, giving visitors the chance to taste any of the 70-plus wines that make up the premium own label menu. Throughout the 11-day pop-up, members of the Tesco wine team and other experts will be on hand to advise visitors.

Experiential, and “Destination” shopping are two key trends that are growing in the retail sector. We know that shopper behaviours are constantly changing, and their attitude to embracing technology is ever evolving. Shoppers tend to use a multitude of channels for researching and purchasing, and with the online channel playing an increasing role, the question has often been ‘what is the future for physical retail’ ?

We have worked with a number of clients in the ‘experiential’ retail field and it can be a great way to boost engagement with your brand, both externally to consumers, and internally to staff. Capturing customer feedback in those early days will be key to tweak the experience and work to improve the concept.

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Amy Nichols
01962 842211
Article date - 14/07/2016
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