Naf Naf, a French fashion brand had the opportunity to open a shop for a limited time on Champs Elysees, while the large retail space remodeled. The temporary nature of the project, combined with the prime location of the most beautiful street in the world, got the brand to dive in, risking it all and it paid off, achieving more than they expected.
Take something as basic as room service, twist for originality, then create a new experience where customers can view a limited number of clothes, get the right size and color, try them on, buy them and get it delivered to their home or hotel. The process is very simple but has a direct and indirect impact on the customer's experience.
By deliberately crafting a showroom with a limited number of items, it expands the floor space, adds light and creates an inviting feeling. It is very different from traditional shops where racks are stuffed with products of all sizes and colors are on exhibition. Here only two items of the most common size were on display.
When the customer size is not available, sale reps makes a request to an operator who manages additional stock in the basement. This procedure is an interesting trade-off, to use the costly street level square meters for customer experience, and the cheaper basement square meters as storage.
The proof is in the DETAILS
The shop was immaculate compared to most fashion stores. Of course, that tends to happen to newly opened locations, but it is evident that extra care to keep it clean was a priority. The store manager confirms that the cleaning crew is there every day and shop assistants regularly check for tidiness throughout the day.
As the customer wait for another size, Naf Naf #RoomService serves up coffee, tea, cookies while they sit in eloquently crafted and comfortable chairs. Reading material (fashion magazines) placed on the table keeps them entertained and spark new fashion interest. The shop manager describes this as value added service provided to their customer. It is entirely right, even if it arises from a constraint of the business model.
Once the item is available, the customer will then proceed to try them in a boudoir. "We don't call them fitting room" explained the shop manager. Using a different word reinforces the experience. As the customer is moving forward with her purchase, there is a sense of theatrical staging. The color code, the setting and the vocabulary are critical components.
The boudoir parallels a 19th-century theater. It is slightly bigger than the average firing room. They also have more coat hangers than an average fitting room. "From the original design of the shop, we thought about the shopping experience from our client's point of view," says Luc Mory, CEO of Naf Naf. Putting more coat hangers, shaped like a golden bird, is in line with that purpose.
Another client-centric point of view innovation was to add a call button. When a customer is trying on clothes, it is uncomfortable to try and call a shop assistant, popping your head outside, while covering your body with the curtain. The "Help Me" button takes care of that.
This innovation is far from being technologically advanced. Quite the contrary, it is as old as electricity and lamps. But it is consistent with the brand experience, as it does not ring a bell, but turns off the light outside of the boudoir, so a shop assistant can come and help.
How to be different?
The final step of the purchase is the payment and taking of the delivery address. The shop does not have a cashier, in the traditional sense. Shop assistants are using tablets to record the sale, payment by credit card, and delivery address. The customer does not need to carry her purchase and can continue her shopping. This part of the shopping experience is perfect for tourists, and there are many on Champs Elysees, but less for locals. For this reason, the shop assistants have handy, a list of the nearby shops, where customers can take away the merchandise.
Shop assistants are also different. Firstly, they wear a uniform. An uncommon practice in the French retail industry. Naf Naf has a dress code for its other shops, not a full suit. "It is great because the company pays for it," explains a shop assistant. Secondly, they are well-trained from welcoming customers into the store, tidiness, inventory management and additional services which craft a superior shopping experience.
Results and Scalability
When asked about the impact on the business, Luc Mory, CEO of Naf Naf, off-offhandedly said: "the average basket has doubled and quadrupled for tourist".
It 's hard to attribute the effect on sales to a single factor, as the shop offers different touch points, services, and low-tech innovations. The primary driver of performance seems to be the overall customer care, customer-centricity, and pride that the staff takes into working there.
When asked If some of the minor changes could be applied to other shops, Naf Naf does not see #Roomservice as the template of its shops of the future. But they are considering other location, similar to Champs Elysees, where the same concept could lead to similar results. The emerging strategy from this experiment is that different retail location could call for various store concepts, thus not only adapting the store concept to the physical space available but the type of clients, their habits, tastes, and desires.
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