Sunday, 8 June 2014

Comparative Competitive Shopping

Antonia's Flowers Floret Eau de Parfum £137, Diptyque Mousse Candle £40, Laure Mercier Creme de Pistache Honey Bath £32, Eve Lom Cleanser from£ 40, Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream £16, Kiehl's Creme de Corps from £16, Anthony Logistics Facial Moisturiser SPF 15 £32, Tom Ford for Men Eau de Toilette £48

I was discussing store visits and competitive shops with my manager recently. I do a bit both, but what I probably do most is online retail research. I thought it would be interesting to compare the online store to a bricks and mortar store of a couple of brands, to see how consistently they are merchandised.

First of all, I decided to look at a high-end beauty boutique - you might be able to guess which. At the moment, they have a print-based window scheme, six or seven moisturisers, exfoliators, supplements, etc. artfully arranged on a yellow background. When you enter the store, you see these products and more displayed on an island unit. Perspex blocks reveal that they make up the steps of particular beauty routine. There's some classic product by their bestselling brands, some more niche product, some newness; it's an interesting campaign and it certainly seemed to appeal to customers.

Their homepage featured the same image as the window. Beneath, pack-shots of particular products represented the steps of the beauty regime. When you clicked through, the selection of products was almost exactly the same as in store.

In store, the mens section was mainly Anthony Logistics, Kiehl's and a Malin + Goetz range that lead into the female skincare. The men's part of the website promoted a selection of essential men' products - the above brands were all well represented and their products were prominently positioned.

The in-store home selection was almost entirely Diptyque - candles, diffusers... Online, the 'home page' (not homepage, let us be clear!) was subcategory based, packshots linking to candles, sprays and diffusers, laundry products, hand wash. Diptyque was featured, but the candle subcategory packshot was own-brand. This was interesting as the own-brand candles were in the bath & body section of the website.

The website had a gift section which comprised a lot of sets. The only gift sets visible in store were an Eve Lom and a Malin + Goetz. The main fragrances in store were Diptyque, Acqua di Parma and Tom Ford - both of which were featured online. Serge Lutens and Antonia's Flowers made nice additions.

The most prominent make up brands when you walked into store were By Terry and Eve Lom - through Laura Mercier, Nars, Hourglass... were also present. Eve Lom was surprisingly pretty far down the foundation page of the site, though By Terry and Nars were packshots on the makeup page.

So there you have it, my comp of comp shopping. It's amazing what you can learn from presence and presentation, before you even get to sales figures and stock holding. I impulse purchased a lip liner while I was in store -  the perils of field work! I didn't buy anything while online, though I don't think you should read anything into that!

Hope you've had a great weekend!

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