As part of my passion for shopper psychology and my constant super-search for the perfect store, I have over the years learned that value created through WOWability, or if you in an other way manage to cross shopper expectation with something unanticipated, you have managed to create positive tension to attract traffic.

But business can’t exist from only attraction, WOWability or positive tension without a positive revenue stream. We need to convert traffic! Get people to buy regularly and take the basket size to the next level. Get consumer interested in visiting more often, stay longer, we need people to talk to people about the store, to become one with the store. We need our traffic to carry an evolving message about the entire extra that we offer.

Therefore we need to offer something special – in terms of product, knowledge, service, presentation, interaction, relation and much more – all because retail is detail!

Let’s take a short look at some of the key words.

Product – if we don’t offer the expected – we can’t get them to buy something else! We simply give them a reason to walk away empty handed, and by the way somewhat disappointed!

Knowledge, Service, Presentation and Interaction – here lie a distinct possibility to do far better than what a website can offer, hereby really stand out store wise – offering consumer appreciated competitive advantage compared to overall competition.

The “much more” – well you, as a retailer know something about this already. But because of the workload in the day to day operations you frequently tent to forget, your responsibility in development! Taking into consideration that this part has to be revisited daily or weekly – most stores simply fail to comply – and after a couple of years perform poorly at best.

Admitting to the fact that price is always an issue, even for the best in class that I briefly will present. None of the below mentioned have surrendered to just being discount bookstore – because they don’t have to!

All below asked themselves – Am I special? Can I offer anything that the next in line can’t? Do traffic experience the difference that I’m trying to make, or is that just something I think is obvious?

How often, do you ask yourself these questions?

These stores – all except one, make larger changes regularly (at least 3-4 times a year). They proudly present a simple strategy – that talk about focussing on taking business to the next level. Strategy is then based on tools such as conversion rate, basket size, basket content and track and trace results. They all managed to have very positive revenue streams – even in troubled times!

Photo wise I have been focussing on presentation. Remember that these stores earn good money – based on the belief that by building special, you ARE!

If you want further information on the individual bookstore strategy and shopper behaviour take aways – don’t hesitate to revert to me!

MY personal Awards 2009 Retailwise

•Best in class (fnac 2009)

•Distinctiveness (Shakespeare & Co)

Shakespeare & Company
37 rue de la Bûcherie
75005 Paris

•Business (Academic Bookstore )

The Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa) in the center of Helsinki is built by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto

•Wow factor (Lello)

Rua das Carmelitas 144, Porto 4050 – Portugal

•Traffic (Borders)

•Conversion of traffic (192 bookstore)

•Time spend (Lello)

•Third world (Calcutta roadstop)

•Interaction (Le Bal des Ardents )

•Basket size (Noels & Barnes)

No photo!

•Design (Le Bal des Ardents )

•Oldest (San Francisco bookstore)

With presentation come conduct and service – conduct and service fitted to presentation. The above mentioned has not in any way left any detail untouched.

But what about business figures – and other important figures! I’ll let the average figures talk for them self!

Trafic conversion rate (+29%)

Trafic (+49%)

Revenue (+19%)

Basket size (+47%)

Stockturn (+21%)

There are many stories/stores like this spread around the world – but for each good story there is a 1000 or more stories sadly pointing in the opposite direction – they simply don’t get it! They still think that the old way is the right way – you can tell, that they never read BlueOcean strategy!

Remember also – most of these bookstores have all the cheap extras, fancy coffee shops and alike they do great in terms of traditional core business.

This research has been conducted over the last 2 years

My pictures have not always been the best, so some has been borrowed from friends and likeminded, that like myself share a common interest for shopper psychology, in-store presentation and offer.

But believe me when I say – that the photos are nothing in compares to the original stores.

For Retailwise

Brian Engblad