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New Retail Concepts

3 min read
When it comes to shopping, today’s customers have sky-high expectations. They prioritise convenience, meaningful connection, and interesting experiences, among other things. We look at the creative steps shopping platforms and retailers in Singapore are taking to stay on top of the game.

The retail sector, as with many other industries, has been adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak.While some retailers are struggling to survive, others have bounced back with innovative concepts to revive the shopping experience.

Retail experts opine that the shopping experience has changed and will continue to do so, but customers will still feel the need to be pampered. What better way to pander to shoppers’ needs than by bringing the shops to them.

Shopavision, Singapore’s mobile-first livestreaming-focused shopping platform, does just this. Users can choose to buy products instantly within the livestream, or add to cart and make payment directly via payment modes — credit cards, PayNow or e-wallets GrabPay and RazerPay, without leaving the stream.

The platform also offers interactive livestreaming features, audience profiling, and data analytics among others, helping merchants optimise and improve sales.

Apart from e-commerce, some brick-and-mortar stores are taking steps to enable shoppers to browse and experience their products in a more meaningful way.

The Body Shop transformed its ION Orchard store into its first sustainability-focused Activist Workshop Store in July last year. Here, customers are encouraged to explore and recycle products at their interactive store. The eco-friendly locale is fitted with store fixtures made with green materials: reclaimed wood and recycled plastic minimise environmental impact; zinc façade cladding requires less energy to produce compared to other metals; while EKOply worktop surfaces are manufactured from 100% recycled material.

Visitors to the store will experience various stations that are exclusive to this outlet. This includes a DIY Gifting Station, where customers can get creative with wrapping their gifts and personalise them with stamps and stickers; an exclusive Scents of Life fragrance collection with 16 cruelty-free fragrances and spritzes; as well as a Water Station for hydration on the go! There’s also an Activist Bay, where customers can learn about The Body Shop’s activist roots.

Japanese casual wear brand Uniqlo recently came up with the idea of Uniqlo Town, a trio of stores along Orchard Road, each imbued with its own concept. These outlets are located at Plaza Singapura, ION Orchard, and Orchard Gateway.

The Plaza Singapura branch plugs itself as a family-focused outlet, as well as one dedicated to sustainability. Eco-conscious customers can shop from the Sustainability Corner, which showcases Uniqlo’s greener offerings. Uniqlo will also use this space to engage with local eco-communities.

Art takes centre stage at the ION Orchard store, with an in-store wall art installation by homegrown visual artist MindFlyer. The installation depicts the evolution of Orchard Road. In line with the brand’s interest in supporting local talent, this branch will provide a platform for Singaporean artists to showcase their works, with plans to continually switch pieces.

Completing Uniqlo Town is the outlet at Orchard Gateway, which is the brand’s flagship store. Not only is this location where customers can personalise graphic T-shirts, it is the branch with the widest range of products, and is where new products are usually launched.

AA Singapore realised some time ago that people have been gravitating towards online shopping for its ease and convenience. That’s why our AAShop is also available online! In light of the COVID-19 situation, we believe it was the right move.

A wide range of useful AAShop products — from motoring and lifestyle accessories to travel-related stuff — is now available also on Lazada and Shopee. Do take advantage of these online shopping portals, and happy shopping!

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