#Store #Retail #Co-creation #Experience #Businessmodel

Industry: Retail

Location: United States

Related to: New retail business model

Reviewer: Yujia Huo- Parsons School of Design

Company: Microsoft

Article Link: http://www.forbes.com/sites/nikkibaird/2017/01/31/co-creation-the-future-of-retail-stores/2/#3af07ee81414

Facing the great threat of E-commerce, most Physical stores start thinking about redesigning their retail experience, pivoting away from old-fashioned cookie-cutter retail stores to something more creative and varied.

More and more companies are trying to reform their retail methods through improving the customers’ engagement to make them to be more involved in. Increasingly, that is taking the form of customer co-creation. Co-creation is the approach through which companies partner with their target consumers to ideate, discover, improve performance, or create a new product, service or business. The most basic way of co-creation is consumers’ passive participation, which is found in the form of choosing a product from several products that the company offers or attending an event held by the company. During the process, consumers show up in the store, understand the story about the brand and the product, are inspired by the brand and finally keep in mind this experience as a good memory. Many companies have successfully gotten close with their customers by this way. For example, in Manhattan, Microsoft’s flagship store features an event space that invites consumers to participate in live gaming broadcasts. Customers get more interesting experience and then increase the loyalty to this brand.

Compared to the passive participation, positive participation is much harder, because it means that the company needs to provide an immersive environment to customers and let customers create their own stories with their own imagination. At the product level, that means the consumer is putting their own intelligence and creative impulses into the product. For instance, crafting service is a simple positive participation for consumers. To realize this aim, companies recently have more been involved in building a co-creation business model within the whole company including the customers, employees and all stakeholders.

“Gals and Garments Event”

Nowadays, a good retail strategy can’t be limited to selling products, since savvy consumers are able to buy what they want on their mobile phones or online at anywhere. The expectation for the brands from consumers has been much more than what they expect in the past. Co-creation has built a bridge between companies and customers to make them understand each other better so that they can get more innovative ideas.