There’s a new form of store on the Highstreet, but they’re not selling products, they’re selling start-ups’ exposure. You may or may not have heard of Kickstarter, but it’s a new platform which is dedicated to finding the latest and greatest products and putting them before the eyes of their potential audience. It’s about creating as much hype around the latest products, tech and gadgets, before they’re due to be released.
In a recent announcement, Amazon has revealed that they will be teaming up with Kickstarter, in order to offer store space for these “pre-sale” start-ups, so that they can hit the ground running when it’s time to launch; to give them a “kickstart” of sorts.
This means that the more successful start-ups that are featured in Kickstarter, whose products are most likely to take off, will be given store space and a “digital shopfront” where they can showcase their ideas to the world. This is a new and innovative way of driving & establishing sales before production has even began. This transcends the digital realm and is now taking on the form of physical showcase stores as well.
What’s most interesting about this business model is that there is such a grand variety of different pre-products to learn about. They’re tucked away in various categories, such as “Always be Learning,” “Exquisite Objects,” “Inventing the Future,” and “Public Benefit,” to name a few. As such, you can expect to find only the most exciting and innovative items, so that you can be the first to get your hands on the next big thing!
Are physical “showcase” stores the future of retail?
Another interesting thing about this “Kickstarter” trend, is that there are now a number of physical stores opening across the globe that are specifically designed to showcase products, and nothing else. They’re not interested in selling products at all, but to sell “the idea” of a product, or the brand itself. Some great examples of this are We The People, in Singapore, and b8ta, in the US. They allow browsers to enter their store and to have a glimpse into the future! This is an interesting and irrefutably invaluable way of generating hype before a product is even released.
When coupled with online shopping, could these physical showcase stores be the future of retail? Well, for certain industries there is a huge amount of potential. For example, we can see the tech industry benefiting greatly from adopting the physical “showcase” store format. But is it something that could really take off for clothing and attire for example? Perhaps its too early to know for sure. What thing is for certain: this is an exciting time for retail, given the lull that has happened in recent years due to the rise of e-Commerce business.
It’s certainly interesting to see so much interest going into new innovations. This is making the global market more accessible to young innovators and inventors. It’s creating more confidence in those who have ideas that they wish to share but weren’t feeling quite confident enough in their ability to get things off the ground. With the likes of Amazon and Kickstarter offering custom product pages, a comprehensive marketing packages, and access to an established global fulfilment network; it’s safe to say that we’re going to see some incredible products in the near future.
But of course, there are cons to everything. Is this level of pre-exposure, before products have even began sale, going to be a problem for other companies poaching ideas? If you are showcasing a new innovation in tech, long before you’re due to launch the product, it will give your competitors the opportunity to create something similar, with a twist. In any case, it seems to be working wonders in terms of getting new companies off the ground and putting these awesome products in front of the customers as quickly and efficiently as possible.