The store that never goes out-of-stock

Ever returned home empty-handed from a shopping trip, because your chosen shirt or shoes were not in stock? This may become a thing of the past as more retailers introduce online ordering kiosks to combine the convenience and choice of online shopping with the traditional ‘touch and feel’ experience in-store. For department stores where customers travel long distances to shop, like Canada’s La Maison Simons, this exclusive service ensures no trip is a wasted one.

Coined as the ‘endless aisle,’ this concept allows retailers to open up a multitude of choice beyond the limits of the shop space, making their entire online range accessible in-store. The major benefit is that customers can order out-of-stock products online and opt for home delivery, so leaving empty-handed no longer means leaving without a purchase. Seeing the potential to stop a sale being lost while keeping customers satisfied, La Maison Simons installed Bouncepad iPad kiosks into their store at the Galerie d’Anjou shopping mall in Montreal.

The service allows shoppers to use iPads for browsing videos, fashion look books and the season’s latest trends.

Showcasing the features of the website beyond simply an ecommerce platform for purchasing is an easy way to convert shoppers into loyal online customers who want to visit the website again from the comfort of their homes.

The Bouncepad Flex was chosen for its easily adjustable angle, allowing comfortable viewing for users. The tablet kiosks have proved so successful that La Maison Simons have installed Bouncepads in waiting lounges across multiple locations as part of a major national expansion.

The retailer’s commitment to a seamless shopping experience continues to impress, with the West Edmonton Mall store scooping the Euroshop Retail Design Award 2014. This featured a range of interactive activities, including social media and photo booths and a video gaming wall to keep shoppers entertained. The interior design was created by Figure3 and Lemay Michaud Architecture Design, the first Canadian firm to win the prestigious award.

These interactive innovations were the result of extensive customer research, showing the stores’ understanding of how digital touch points can enrich the experience of today’s media-savvy shoppers.

The ‘endless aisle’ is a win-win situation; the customer enjoys the benefits of online and in-store shopping under one roof, while retailers can provide wider stock variety to increase their sales. After all, the use of tablet kiosks means stores can trim floor space to help boost sales per square foot, without losing out on business. There’s no doubt: the multichannel store is here to stay.