9 IDEAS: HOW TO OFFER AN EXPANDED SHOPPING EXPERIENCE TO CUSTOMERS
By Amber Katz
Offering accessories and lifestyle products in addition to your retailers regularly scheduled lingerie and swim offerings is not only effective in terms of diversifying, you’re also presenting your store as a more holistic, 360-degree lifestyle experience. Here’s a takeaway you can adopt from lifestyle brands courtesy of Forbes contributor Alex Frias: “Lifestyle brands implement a strategy that is the complete opposite of ‘A.B.C.’ Their marketing doesn’t explicitly imply the selling of their product; rather, it’s about figuring out creative ways that their brand can enhance their consumers’ way of life.” In the same piece, Frias points out that “marketers need to do more: they need to create the perfect experience for their consumers.”
How do you do that? Here, we’ll share some ideas about how to provide a well rounded shopping experience to customers, some specific items you can add to your store’s repertoire, and highlight a couple of brands who are already putting this practice in motion."
1 • INCORPORATING LIFESTYLE ITEMS INTO YOUR PRODUCT MIX
How can you incorporate lifestyle items into your product mix? The best way to do it seamlessly is to tap into your store’s DNA while also capturing the zeitgeist. Which lifestyle brands share an ethos, aesthetic, and intention of yours? If your store were a person, would it be friends with these lifestyle brands? These are some things to consider when you’re figuring out which lifestyle items to offer.
2 • OPT FOR A WELLNESS SLANT
All things wellness and new age are having a moment. So if wellness is a fit for your retailer, now’s the time to sell products like herbal teas, supplements, crystals, vibe sprays, gua sha tools, jade or rose quartz rollers, and even beautifully packaged tarot cards.
3 • BRING IN THE ATHLEISURE
This is still within the wellness category, of course, but athleisure/athletic items are more nuanced. If your range skews more athletic, workout headbands, wrist bands, scrunchies, and athletic socks might be a fit.
4 • SELL BEAUTY SKUS
As beauty products, specifically skincare, are wildly popular right now and appeal to a range of generations, it makes sense to bring some beauty to your retail store. Most shops could integrate beauty products like sheet masks, tinted lip balms, highlighters, moisturizers, and body creams into their offerings. Candles and hair accessories from gilded bobby pins to larger headbands like those of Lele Sadoughi are sure to be popular with female consumers, as well. Keep the offerings in line with your demographic, for example, if you’re targeting women in their teens and early twenties, anti-aging products aren’t a good fit for sales.
5 • OFFER LAUNDRY PARAPHERNALIA
If your retail establishment isn’t already offering either its own ancillary items or another brand’s detergent or lingerie wash, this is a great place to start. Soak Wash is a great one; it comes in a variety of subtle scents and doesn’t require rinsing, so it’s ideal for lingerie. Similarly, wash bags and hang-dry apparatuses pair well with lingerie and swimwear, since their care is so specific and requires delicate products.
6 • INCORPORATE HOME SCENT
Setting the mood at home involves scent. Offer candles, reed diffusers, and room sprays. Le Petit Trou sells gorgeously packaged candles that smell as divine as they look. Swimwear retailers can opt for tropical scents like Antica Farmacista’s Lush Palm fragrance, for example. During the holidays, a candle like Diptyque Feu De Bois is a great choice.
7 • TRY ACCESSORIES
Things like slippers, tights, socks, camisoles, and jewelry work well when marketed as gifts to buy while your customer is purchasing an item for herself. A beautiful silk eye mask, like one by Linda Hartman Intimates, is the perfect tie-in to good sleep
8 • SOME INSPIRATION
Lingerie brand Journelle does an excellent job of offering luxe extras at its online store. Journelle offers inthe-boudoir items like harnesses, burlesque feather fans and acrylic nipplets. The brand also sells sleep accessories like a silk eye mask, turbans, slippers, blankets, and even vibrators — both for couples and those designed for solo use.
Free People sells lingerie in addition to clothing and accessories, but has brought in accessories like jewelry from indie brands like Maria Tash and ornaments from Cala and Ivy to diversify its mix of offerings and while catering to the aesthetic and interests of its customer.
9 • THE TAKEAWAY
Launching a lifestyle section, no matter how small, into your space (both online and brick-and-mortar) improves customers’ shopping experience in a few ways. It introduces them to new brands and makes your store a destination — a one-stop shop for several items. Selling lifestyle items is also a new way for your customer to spoil herself. Complementary products, like lifestyle wares, also bring additional revenue to your retail store. Instead of purchasing a lingerie wash elsewhere, now consumers can pick it up while shopping for the lingerie itself. All in all, it’s a win for your retailer and for the consumer.