How is the in-store retail customer experience evolving?
American retailers appear to be facing a crisis. Brands like JC Penney, American Apparel, and Sears are all closing stores and customers there...
It’s always great to read fantastic customer experience (CX) case studies, but even better when they include food. Dylan’s Candy Bar is an extremely interesting case where they don’t just aim to be a candy retailer; they offer each customer a “retailtainment experience”.
As you might have guessed, “retailtainment” is a blend of retail with entertainment. Dylan’s Candy Store aims to make a visit to their stores fun and exciting, encouraging customers to not only return, but to become advocates who recommend the experience to their friends.
The inspiration for the stores is Willy Wonka, the zany chocolate factory owner from Roald Dahl’s classic book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”. The company receives over two million visits per year to their New York store alone; and bright colours, a warm environment, and unusual in-store experiences such as 3D printing and personalisation drive many of these visits.
The brand aims to fuse retail, the customer experience, and e-commerce as business concepts that should be more closely connected. They have an omni-channel strategy that insists the in-store experience should be just as much fun as using their online shopping channels.
In short, Dylan’s Candy Store is a brand that has identified their primary goal as the creation of an emotional bond with the customer through a great environment, products, and experience. By achieving this bond, all the other important metrics (like sales) automatically follow.
This focus on building a brand around the emotions of the customer is an ideal situation that meets modern customer expectations, but it’s not very common. How many businesses can you think of that are so customer-centric that emotional bonding is their priority? Let me know in the comments below, or connect with me on LinkedIn.