MASAMI is proud to be partners with several retailers who are on the cutting edge of redefining consumer engagement and experiences. These days, retail experiences are evolving and will likely never be the same as they were in the past, especially post COVID-19. Not only do we need to rethink safety in shopping environments because of Covid, but we need to think about how to continue to surprise and delight people. Also, how to have shoppers coming back and wanting more, all with an eye towards convenience, storytelling and technology.
We are sharing some of the most interesting examples of how this evolution is taking place and hope that it inspires even more innovation in the future.
Tangible Collective’s concept is all about bridging the brick & mortar and online worlds, allowing you to “try before you buy online”. Washington Prime Group launched Tangible™ in 2017 to provide a curated space for guests to discover and explore products – see, touch and feel – before committing to an online purchase. In fact, Tangible doesn’t carry any inventory, they only have displays and customers can order from the store and have the products delivered right to their homes. Tangible’s retail locations create buzz and provide a physical presence for brands with a limited or non-existent brick-and-mortar footprint. Tangible provides their town center guests with a unique shopping experience, while supporting artisans, makers, and small business owners. So, it’s the perfect place for indie brands like MASAMI to tell our story.
Plus, the ability to have a gorgeous display (see pic) has helped us generate deeper awareness and interest that we couldn’t get by just being online. We know how much people like to see, smell and touch our products -- and other beauty products -- in person.
MASAMI display at Tangible Collective in Columbus, Ohio
For Showfields, it’s also about an experience bigger than just a transaction -- it’s about creating a sense of discovery. When people walk into Showfields (self-proclaimed as “the most interesting store in the world”), they don’t feel like they are entering a traditional store. It’s more like many small stores, which gives brands the opportunity to tell their unique stories in a way that feels like exploration. In fact, Showfields focuses primarily on DTC and online brands to blur the lines between the online and offline worlds -- and to make having a physical retail space accessible to online brands. We love how visually stimulating Showfields is:
But this new consumer shopping experience isn’t just for brick & mortar stores who need to evolve. Online retailers are quickly creating new user experiences that transcend typical e-commerce sites.
We also love what GlossWire (originally named Barzzé Beauty) is doing and we hope to see first-hand how their discovery approach combined with enhanced consumer engagement makes for a stronger brand connection.
Per a recent article in Yahoo Finance, “The Barzzé Beauty app gamifies the feedback loop directly from consumer to brand. Fusing together the discoverability of emerging brands, delivering user feedback via swipe technology and sharing beauty inspirations through Barzzé Beauty’s social feed, allows users and brands to engage in unprecedented ways. The hard metrics of real-time data and insights into consumer shopping preferences is an invaluable tool to the beauty industry.”
GlossWire beauty app
We think they are setting the bar high for a new beauty shopping experience that other online brands will need to learn from and evolve (or die).
Beautyque is an innovative 3D e-commerce site, but its original vision was to have a physical space in Soho where mission-driven indie brands, created by business-minded founders, could join together and grow. This meant more than just selling products. Per Sonia Khemiri, Co-Founder of Beautyque, “We didn’t want to offer what every traditional retailer is already offering to their consumers. I firmly believe that beauty is not only about makeup and skincare. There is a French saying — “être bien dans sa peau” — which means “feel good under my skin.” To achieve this, it takes not only physical confidence, but a combination of mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness. We embody this at Beautyque by hosting live events with experts in mental health, fitness and nutrition, sexual wellness, makeup and skincare, and more. By holding these one-of-a-kind workshops, we’re able to educate and inspire our audience, while introducing them to the right brands and products to help them achieve their own definition of beauty.“
Beautyque 3D e-commerce site
The challenge when Covid hit was to pivot to an online concept, but think about how to make it different, engaging and surprising. Per Sonia, “The 3D shoppable experience is unique, and often totally new to consumers. This sparks a lot of interest and excitement from new customers, but at the same time, there is a learning curve when it comes to navigating this new format of online shopping. We’ve received extremely positive feedback from businesses and consumers alike when it comes to our 3D storefront. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind innovation in the industry, and we are continuing to develop it as we grow.”
We’re excited to be part of this new retail experimentation and believe that today, brands need to deliver storytelling in new and different ways -- and in ways that are intuitive to consumers. We are thankful for platforms like these that cater to indie brands, which will hopefully lead to many more innovative brand launches as well. After all, many of the small brands are the ones leading the way when it comes to clean beauty and sustainability and we can’t wait to see what’s next.