The new Burberry flagship store on Regent Street in London is designed to adapt a digital-first approach with an aim to mirror Burberry’s website. I found this very intriguing so went down to check it out.
And the store is amazing! Every detail is thought through and on brand. Furthermore the store does carry the interactive, fully immersed experience through from the website. I loved the massive video art piece of clapping and snapping turning into thunder and rain. Brilliantly English (sorry, haven’t found it on YouTube yet).
But I am expecting the best from the best
And had it been another brand I would not be writing this article as the sheer aspiration is admirable… but this IS Burberry who is one of the leaders, if not THE leader, for digital and interactive in the world of fashion.
While the shop, the videos, the music and the staff was all excellent, my shopping and payment experience was not as good as it could have been. The theory being that there are no tills instead there are a large number of helpful staffs who can process your requests and purchases via their ipads.
I started by asking a store staff for the price of an item I wanted but didn’t have a price tag on it. Nervously accessing the Burberry.com website to find the price, the assistant was struggling to find the item, but eventually found it with a bit of help from what seemed like a more experienced staff member. New store, new system, new staff… “not a big problem”, I thought.
Manually entering barcode numbers
I also asked whether they had a different size of an item I wanted as well, but this turned out to be rather problematic question to answer as both my assigned staff assistant and his hovering, more experienced, colleague couldn’t find the item, which let to a somewhat awkward process where one person read out the barcode number while the other typed it into her ipad.
This was the first time I felt the experience didn’t quite live up to the vision of a website-inspired interactive store:
Why wasn’t there an app on the staff’s ipad to scan the barcode? Job done! In fact, why not make this available to customers so they can scan barcodes themselves?
In the end the staff went down in the store room to find out. A fair amount of time later it turned out they didn’t have the item in stock. Shame.
Why do I have to create a profile to pay?
But I still wanted my first item so next: Payment, right?… ehmm… no.
Before my payment could be processed I had to fill out a Burberry profile with name, adresse, phone and email. I never got an explanation why, but as I had been in this payment process long enough, and was keen to see the rest of the store, I just filled it in.
Could I pay now? No, my friendly staff assistant had to go away again to find a handheld swipe machine for my card payment, which left me wondering:
Since I had to fill out a form like I am on a website, why couldn’t I have filled in my card details as well so the payment would have been done by now?
My assigned staff member came back with the card machine and my payment was processed.
We said “goodbye” and I left to explore the rest of the store, which I can highly recommend you do if you are in the neighbourhood, what an amazing place with a really visionary idea behind it… just be prepared for a modern payment process that takes quite a bit long than the good old till.