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Marketing

Kogan dips its toes into the land of never

The pop up store of the pureplay online retailer amusingly turns things around in the world of retail.

Race back to 2008 in Australia and armageddon was forecast. Shops wouldn’t exist in the future as all purchasing would be done online. Naysayers that made comments like this were probably just seeking attention as there will always be the demand for fast moving consumable goods and urgently required items from retail outlets.

Many successful online retailers have also now realised that a physical location with high pedestrian traffic can help clear extra stock while assisting in brand recognition, brand building and contribution of new subscribers to a company’s database.

In the USA, Amazon is toying with a retail location in Seattle, an irony in that the growth of online book sales killed its bricks and mortar competitors such as Borders starting around the mid 90’s. eSOLD, a Melbourne-based online retailer did this in a variety of locations in Melbourne CBD and Catch of The Day has invited the public to various locations to physically purchase goods over the past year or so.

Kogan has just opened a pop up store, and no one does it better than the media seeking Kogan marketing machine.

One has to love Ruslan Kogan’s sense of humour in promoting his latest pop up store in Melbourne’s grunge and glamour Chapel street. Politely on Kogan’s blog, Ruslan Kogan acknowledges that he should never have used the blanket statement “that Kogan will remain online only and never open a retail store” and that he has learned a lesson from this. Kogan has up until now been a young driven entrepreneur, with a business that is now more mature, has high inventory holding costs and needs other ways to move stock and engage new and existing customers. The years of growth and experience and the choice to open this pop up store are key signs that Kogan himself is probably maturing and realising more than even he expected that the only constant is change, and fast change at that and what may have appeared to be the de facto truth at some point in the past is not so today, yet credit to his humility.

The humour is not lost either as Kogan attempts to superimpose the online shopping journey on a retail customer in his promotional video and hilariously the journey starts with a request for an email address and then the customer is offered a cookie. The journey seems kind of restrictive to the poor shopper and although very humorous, it clearly highlights how different the retail experience is to that of the online experience. Neither is better and each has a place for today’s consumer.

Other online retailers that have experimented with pop up stores have suggested that some products that are slow movers online sell very well in pop up stores and some fast moving online products don’t so so well in store. Kogan has suggested they are opening the pop up store based on huge amounts of data they have about the shopping behaviour of their customers that they can use to enhance their experience in store.

After Christmas we will approach Kogan to find out what their experience has been in this new and exciting venture.

Enjoy the video below.

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