As consumers become more fickle and internet shopping becomes a way of life, retailers need to become more innovative if they’re to get more people walking through their shop front.
I did a story on RICARDO’S BUSINESS for SBS online a while back about the ‘retail experience’ which Costco was pushing to become successful, and it’s no different for service industries.
Let’s get this out of the way, the guys at Atlantis Hair in Paddington do my hair, but they’re incorporating technology into their salon to create a new experience and customer environment.
For example, along with magazines they offer you an iPad to read. QR codes are scattered throughout the salon to encourage digital interactivity. There’s wireless available to clients. They’re working on mobile transaction technology to eliminate the need for a ‘register station’. And they use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter effectively to engage with new and potential clients.
Creative director, Alan Buki told me that it’s all about creating an experience, just like when you walk into an Apple store.
On top of the high end services which the company provides, they’ve also spent time sending their staff to learn how to make proper coffee, offer herbal organic tea and have a deal with Nudie Juice to display and offer their clients free drinks.
While at the end of the day, it’s the actual hair service that drives the business, the extras add to the customer experience which Atlantis hopes will differentiate it from other salons, and will keep customers coming back.
My point? It’s a company that has adopted new technology to move with the times and has identified the changing consumer environment and moved along with it. A lesson other goods and service retailers should follow to stay competitive.