Retailers are marrying limited-time access to tangible products in physical retail spaces with one-on-one expert advisory sessions this holiday shopping season

Consumers expect brands to provide expertise and knowledgable support to identify the best products for their lifestyles, needs or goals. Accordingly, retailers are training their associates to provide one-to-one consults, experiences and expert advice to boost the confidence of customers and help them make the optimal choice.

This holiday season, retailers that choose to bring their products or e-commerce platforms to life through a physical retail setting are relying on measures like staff-curated product selections and private consultations for increased connection between the product and the consumer, helping drive them along the path to purchase:

E-Commerce home goods retailer Wayfair is opening two retail stores: at the Natick Mall, Massachusetts, and the Westfield Garden State Plaza in New Jersey, for the 2018 holiday season. These stores will provide visitors with access to home design experts and employees who can recommend innovative home solutions and products from across the Wayfair platform.

The Strategist
New York Magazine’s expert product recommendation section, The Strategist, opened a pop-up store to highlight its favorite products and help holiday shoppers find suitable gifts. The space also hosts free gift wrapping and special events.

Beauty giant L’Oréal introduced a virtual consultation feature for its makeup brand NYX, where customers can not only receive advice and guidance from beauty professionals via video chat on the NYX app, but can also see on-screen what they would look like wearing the product using augmented reality filters.

Home goods giant IKEA opened a supplemental shop in London. Called the Planning Studio, the space is the first of its kind and will be staffed by advisers, rather than salespeople, to help consult shoppers on bedroom and kitchen planning.

Havenly + Nordstrom
Online interior design studio Havenly partnered with Nordstrom for in-store design consultations. Customers can book complimentary 30-minute interior design advisory meetings, by appointment or walk-in, with a Havenly design expert.

These are just a few retailers who are providing hands-on, curated experiences and expert-led advice for their consumers to drive sales. For more examples, visit PSFK's Holiday 2018 Retail & Brand Experience Strategies report.