Retail

From groceries to placemaking, a wide-ranging exploration of the retail industry

Need to Know
08 : 09 : 20

Whole Foods launches a permanent online-only store, the Biden-Harris campaign engages gamers and location-sharing opt-in experiences spike amid Covid-19.

Ikea’s phygital window display features a CGI influencer

Imma at Ikea Harajuku, Japan

Tokyo – Virtual influencer Imma stars in Ikea’s new phygital Happiness at Home campaign.

The campaign, which merges physical and digital window displays, used LED screens to showcase a 10-hour long video installation, A Day In The Life of Imma. To demonstrate how small-space living can be elevated, Imma occupies the window display of the new Ikea Harajuku shop.

Offering a mixed-reality retail experience, those passing by were able to see the virtual influencer’s everyday home life as she practised yoga or prepared breakfast over the course of three days. A product selection curated by Imma and used in the virtual Harajuku apartment is also available to be purchased online.

Brands are increasingly blurring the lines between the physical and virtual to create innovative window displays. For more, discover how retail is becoming a phygital playground.

Whole Foods opens first ghost supermarket

Online Only Store by Amazon and Whole Foods Market, New York Online Only Store by Amazon and Whole Foods Market, New York
Online Only Store by Amazon and Whole Foods Market, New York Online Only Store by Amazon and Whole Foods Market, New York

Brooklyn – The retailer’s new facility, open at the Industry City campus, will fulfil grocery delivery orders in Brooklyn.

Marking the first permanent online-only store to open in Sunset Park, the site is closed to walk-in visitors, but appeals to the growing demand for online grocery shopping. The facility, created by Amazon and Whole Foods Market, is designed to better serve the Brooklyn community through increased efficiency, dedicated staff teams and exclusive discounts.

‘This new delivery-only retail model will allow Whole Foods Market to serve even more customers and continue to meet the growing demand for grocery delivery,’ Amazon wrote in an announcement about the store opening. As shoppers continue to embrace the convenience of online ordering, retailers are responding to the lack of demand for walk-in services, and instead providing efficient fulfilment centres.

As the trend for Flagship Fulfilment evolves amid the rise of e-commerce and the ongoing impact of Covid-19, it is changing grocery retail.

The US presidential campaign enters Animal Crossing

Biden-Harris presidential campaign, US Biden-Harris presidential campaign, US

US – Ahead of the upcoming US presidential election, the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris campaign has entered the gaming space with a new digital partnership.

By creating in-game yard signs, millions of Animal Crossing gamers can now take a political stance in the virtual realm. The online gaming community can choose from four flags including the official Biden-Harris logo, the Team Joe logo, the Joe logo that incorporates colours from the pride flag and one which features Biden’s trademark aviators. Supporters of the Democratic nominee can also acquire the merchandise by scanning QR codes through the Nintendo Switch online app.

‘This is just the start of how we plan to engage players ahead of November as we’re already looking forward to rolling out more digital swag, voter education tools, and organising efforts on Animal Crossing and other platforms,’ says Christian Tom, director of digital partnerships for the Biden campaign.

As gaming establishes itself as a safe space for online activism, brands are increasingly harnessing the power of online communities.

Stat: Location-sharing rises during Covid-19

Scramble For The Moon by Margaux Hendriksen Scramble For The Moon by Margaux Hendriksen

The pandemic has prompted increased adoption of location services, according to research by WARC.

The global rate of location-sharing opt-in on mobile apps increased by 39% between February and June 2020. The data also indicates that consumers in Brazil, Greece and Portugal using retail, utilities and travel apps are most likely to opt in to location-sharing. Further analysis of the study suggests that while home location-based audiences represent an opportunity for brands, consumers remain hesitant about visiting public places and so the current value of location-tracking is limited.

Ongoing concerns about data privacy are likely to prevail among consumers, but as we identify in our Data Commerce Market, a new digital economy is emerging that has the potential to benefit both individuals and their local community.

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