China – Burberry has launched a social retail shopping concept in Shenzhen, developed in collaboration with WeChat.
The phygital experiment integrates gaming, social media and e-commerce into a bricks-and-mortar environment. Combined for use in the physical store space, these elements allow customers to book fitting rooms, virtually pre-select clothes to try on, and make appointments with stylists.
To encourage engagement, the WeChat program also includes a rewards system based on use and visits to the store, which earns users social currency to unlock content such as custom Burberry outfits for their digital avatars.
‘Social media is an increasingly important part of the customer journey and the interaction between social media and physical surroundings is ever more seamless,’ explains Mark Morris, senior vice president of digital at Burberry. ‘Our social retail store in Shenzhen is our response to this. It is a space where the social and physical worlds merge, taking interactions from social media and bringing them into the physical retail environment.’
Retailers are increasingly digitising physical stores to create more seamless, curated and often playful connections with customers.