The difference between a physical and a digital store is narrowing, particularly in the minds of younger shoppers for whom a store is any channel they can buy through. Recognising this, Burberry and WeChat owner, Tencent are trying something new that they refer to as a luxury concept store using social media interactions. The social retail store opened in Shenzhen last week where Burberry has one of its 63 stores in China, which accounts for 40% of its global sales.
It is still a store – a 5,800 sq ft space where customers connect as soon as they stand in front of the interactive store window, which then changes as they move. Customers navigate the store on their phones using a digital point system called ‘Social Currency,’ which accumulates a customer’s in-store activity and social engagements with the brand through an app customised inside WeChat.
Customers can scan product QR codes and make purchases, including booking themed fitting rooms and buying at Thomas’ Café. They can also share what they are doing with their network, a big part of shopping for Chinese consumers. It’s no longer just the experience that is delivered in the actual store but on line.