Change is inevitable. And the retail industry is no exception. In a city where mall culture is king, adapting and improvising the way people shop is crucial for brick and motar stores to survive. From more efficient and intuitive supply-chain procedures to the use of big data and technology to provide personalised services, these shops have adopted digitisation and experiential shopping in a big way not just to survive, but to thrive. With crowds filling up new malls like Funan and Jewel Changi Airport, it looks like we might just overcome the mall-pocalypse.
The homegrown label has grown immensely since it started as a humble blogshop in 2005. Step inside its largest physical store, located in Funan. Besides the pretty clothes and even prettier interior décor, the store is equipped with tech titbits to make your experience a fun and interactive one.
There are screens that allow customers to browse online, providing information on the piece’s in-store availability. There are plenty of interactive features that encourage people to whip out their phones and try out the Augmented Reality (AR) Walkway and selfie-centred areas around the store.
At home and lifestyle store Iuiga, which specialises in minimalist and stylish homeware, all shoppers are required to download the app on their phones. Transactions in Iuiga are also cashless and paperless, all done with a press of a button.
The seamless shopping experience starts with the implementation of RFID tags, which you can use to get more information and customer reviews – and to scan and add items to your cart. Pay via the app or the RFID screens in the store. What’s smart is by tracking your purchases, the app is able to recommend products that you might be interested in during your next visit or login.
Here’s one for those of you who hate human interaction. This corner café in the Esplanade nails the solodining experience without any of the associated awkwardness. Machines dispense your food but the options at Kissa Kalm's go above and beyond Nissin instant cup noodles.
Dig into a hot donburi (prices start from $5) from the Wafu vending machine, where meals are curated with quality ingredients like wagyu beef and Hokkaido snow crab. Save space for snacks and drinks imported from Japan or a hot cup of coffee or tea. The space is minimalist and rather sterile so eating alone can be a peaceful escape.
Picking the perfect perfume can be quite a task. While there is no shortage of readymade concoctions, the allure of owning a personalised bottle that is truly your own is much more exciting. Taking the meaning of bespoke to another level, you can create your own scent at the Oo La Lab flagship at NomadX in Plaza Singapura.
Each fragrance note comes with its own RFID tag that allows creators to scan and learn more about the scent and how to use it to bring out the best in your final product. This process also takes away a lot of the anxiety and stress of making something on your own, and helps you grow confident in your own product. Win-win.
Outdoor and sporting goods retailer Decathlon is known for its spacious stores and at the largest outlet in Singapore, Decathlon Singapore Lab in Kallang is more than just a regular shopping experience.
Feel free to shoot hoops, work out in a real gym, skateboard, run and hike across different surfaces and try out products at experience zones before you make your purchases. There are also full length mirrors outside the fitting rooms where you can scan any product (each one has a unique RFID tag) for more information and customer reviews
Swatching shades, reading reviews, finding a product that works for you – buying beauty products takes time. Located in an area where time is precious, the OUE Beauty Bar makes shopping for cosmetics a breeze.
State-of-the-art machines allow shoppers to browse and select products from a catalogue that includes brands like Nars, Shiseido and Clarins. It is quicker than shopping online, and you get your items immediately. Prices start from $30 and product information, videos and in some cases, complimentary products are available