On a recent seasonal séjour to London, I observed an idea so clever and original that it stopped me in my frenzied shopping tracks. The Swedish retail megalith H&M is to thank, in fact H&M Home to be pedantically precise. Faced with a merchandising issue, limited due to floor space, they invented a new type of shopping experience. Something fun and creative, just like their brand.
It’s ‘Shopping by magnets‘, and its pretty cool.Stage 1 is ‘Browse the mini showroom‘ where you can see an assortment of the physical products. Then proceed to stage 2 ‘Grab a house shaped magnet shopping cart‘. Stage 3 ‘Find your items from the shopping ‘wall’ and Stage 4 ‘Pay and collect’. Who knew that such compartmentalized shopping could be enjoyable. Perhaps it’s just novelty, but I think it’s genius.
I wouldn’t have expected anything less though, after all the Swedes are quite the inventive folk, thank them for Skype, Spotify and of course IKEA. It seems they are born with an innate ambition do things more efficiently, whether it be through design, technology or in this case process. Such dedication to efficiency and innovation highlights how important said strategy is for every business. It could be said that companies who fail to innovate, will fail to proceed in our global marketplace.
Coincidentally just like magnets, businesses should be inextricably attracted to innovative ideas and ensure they implement them with their customer in mind. This is the key to long-term success and the holy grail of sustained competitive advantage.