Hybrid and virtual store concepts as a shopping solution in times of lockdown – eCommerce Magazin


The stationary retail trade is under pressure to act: Well-known concepts no longer offer any added value for potential customers. Instead of looking for something special, shops in pedestrian zones and the like come up with overcrowded shelves and tables full of special offers. Quantity gives way to quality. The result: Consumers feel overwhelmed, the overstimulation turns into malaise, the development of personality falls by the wayside. The analog store scheme needs change, a hybrid one: Strolling in the on-offline store, the future retail. Virtual shopping features combined with analog living elements for relaxation offer unique experiences without the risk of chasing away customers with oversupply.

Future Retail: Virtual shopping tour

The well-known brand label already proves that online shops open new doors for stationary retailers Tommy Hilfiger in 2004. The first flagship store in Munich will soon be followed by a digital marketplace and increasing sales. But in 2004 the awareness of shoppers is different. Where online orders are part of everyday life today, the new online world was faced with skeptical analogue strollers at the time. But the blue-red-white label knows what to do and connects the old with the new: Instead of an unknown shopping sphere, the online store reflects well-known store concepts. Hilfiger fans feel picked up and at ease on the new shopping level, the popular fashion designer is looking forward to increased sales. A milestone that paves the way for digital marketplaces.

From the web to the pedestrian zone

The route to success of the Cologne backpack and bag manufacturer runs in the opposite direction Wind & Vibes. The online brand is trending and using the wind under its wings to step into the real world. Equipped with a modern and relaxed indesign, the analog shop skilfully stages the products. But the same applies here: no cluttered shelves, no sensory overload. Selected pieces arouse the curiosity of customers. Digital features invite you to linger and give the shopping experience an innovative update. Screens project selected accessories onto consumers’ backs and shoulders and enable rear views without bending. Staged hashtag corners and photo walls create a creative environment and generate customers via social sharing. Like Wind & Vibes, other retailers are slowly realizing that one-dimensional sales areas hardly give consumers any incentives to enter them. Real interfaces between companies and consumers are shifting to digital spaces, online shops are heading for stationary sales channels. What gradually crystallizes out? Not the purely online, not the purely stationary store offer the optimal shopping experience. It’s all in the mix, namely hybrid.

Project Lux 11 in Berlin

Innovative online features meet a tried and tested sales landscape: coupled with the customer’s smartphone, personalized welcome screens welcome newcomers to the hybrid store. The algorithm shows offers tailored to preferences and needs. Instead of cramped displays, individual highlights adorn flexible shelves. Further designer pieces are presented virtually in a diverse selection in the online catalog. Consultants guide you through sample collections, both real and virtual in the living room at home. Fittings can be done conveniently in the virtual fitting room, where shopping fans can digitally view their favorite products in the Magic Mirror. If they like a look in the digireal mirror, customers receive a receipt at the shop counter and in exchange for their product via the shipping route. In between, store visitors can enjoy a coffee or a culinary menu in the integrated restaurant with regional cuisine. A fitness studio invites you to exercise, living lounges to relax. According to the motto “Be a bartender”, those interested can try their hand at mixing cocktails, taste products and order with a click in the online shop. Merchandising strengthens the customer relationship, promotes brand awareness and rounds off the adventurous visit. On 2,000 square meters, the store offers rentable media and sales space for areas such as fashion, beauty and lifestyle. The appearance and mood change due to constantly changing products, depending on the season. Those with an affinity for trends always keep an eye on new must-haves and experience a superlative shopping tour – it’s a pleasure to meet again! The store in the hybrid concept will open its doors on April 3, 2021 at Lux 11 in Berlin. Future retail can be so beautiful.

Sebastian RetzSource: Sebastian Retz

About the author Sebastian Retz
Sebastian Retz has been working as an independent architect for business and brand projects for 20 years. As managing director of sebastianretz, BrandOn! and added value X Labs, as a partner of Intertrade.Digital, as creative director of Hörger and as chief creative officer of Mavis, he offers brands of all stripes tailor-made staging. Retz has already designed real, hybrid and digital lighthouse projects for well-known companies such as Tommy Hilfiger or Mercedes-Benz and shared his expertise with interested parties in various television formats. More information at

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