Rioja and Wishibam are working on omnichannel strategies at Grantham Designer Outlet Village, Rioja Estates’ latest project. Our objective is to answer changing customer expectations and help the asset continue to generate revenue in the event of closures due to exogenous factors such as COVID-19.
Retailers have been looking at ways to adapt to an ever-evolving market since before the COVID-19 crisis. While customers increasingly shop online for convenience, stores remain crucial for brands to create relationships with clients: “The future of retail isn’t physical vs online, it is omnichannel,” Forbes recently wrote. Rioja and Wishibam believe the same applies to retail destinations such as outlet malls, which have increasingly become brands in their own right. Likewise, once exclusively-digital brands such as Allbirds, Away, or Warby Parker and pure online players such as Amazon all opened physical stores.
As COVID-19 emerged, the need for omnichannel strategies became undeniable. With stores closed, retailers without a digital presence suffered most as illustrated by Cegid’s latest study. Meanwhile, stores with e-commerce capabilities continued generating revenue despite closures.
To ensure that Grantham Designer Outlet Village responds not only to consumers but also to brands’ evolving expectations, Rioja wishes to implement an e-commerce strategy.
With Wishibam’s white-label solutions, Grantham Designer Outlet Village becomes a physical, digital, and experiential shopping centre. The online retail platform will complement the retail destination’s physical activity and be its digital mirror. Stores will sell their inventories via the website while logistics will be managed directly from the centre with Click & Collect as well as delivery options available.
Grantham Outlet’s e-commerce helps brands to not only gain visibility but also to sell through an additional distribution and channel open 24/7. Besides, it enables them to continue selling regardless of exogenous factors such as government-imposed closures due to sanitary guidelines.
For end-consumers, the online platform has multiple advantages. On the one hand, it enables customers to better prepare their visits to the physical location by checking products available in stores before visiting them. On the other hand, it allows them to purchase items on their schedules from the comfort of their homes.
Together, Rioja and Wishibam wish to create an omnichannel asset that leverages e-commerce for its brands and end-customers. This online and logistical differentiator will help the asset adapt to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic by allowing stores to keep selling and serve clients with delivery and drive capabilities.
Providing customers with the practicality of online and the experience of brick & mortar shopping helps future-proof the asset.