Physical Store or Online Store? Concept Store! Between the two quarrels, the third climbs! For the big “curious” and greedy acquaintances, we are going to see in this article:

  • what a Concept Store is and what characterizes it;
  • what it is used for and why it’s preferred to others;
  • how to start such a business.

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Concept Store: what it is and what it is used for

Over the last few decades, many steps have been taken in the area of product sales: we started with our dear good physical shop, shop assistants who inspired confidence and advised us on what to buy. Then, with the explosion of online, we started to learn about e-commerce. At first, we were sceptical, but then it became apparent that there were many benefits to an online purchase and many physical shops cleverly decided to open their online shop. It was an alternative way of billing and expanding borders as there was the opportunity to sell abroad as well. But let’s look at the present: in parallel to these two ways of selling, the Concept Store was introduced, an innovative explosion that made all the difference in the market!

So why start an innovative Concept Store? It is a new way of selling in shops (physical and online) that is original and exciting, they represent the absolute novelty to which one is inevitably attracted and which therefore guarantees sales.

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Definition and difference between physical and online concept stores

Concept Store definition: translated as ”Store of a Concept, of an idea”, this means a change of concept; the ”concept store meaning” is, therefore, the change of the actual concept.

It was created in response to classic online shopping and as a counterpoint to the old idea of the physical shop.

Physical concept store: its invention and introduction are based precisely on the alternative and innovative expression of a basic idea.

physical concept store

It is then developed in all its various facets, drawing inspiration from various fields such as entertainment, art, music, etc. The main element that underlies it is the move away from the idea of the purchase made out of necessity, and towards the sensory experience of the customer that characterizes this type of business, encouraging loyalty. The old emporium gives way to a boutique in which nothing is left to chance: starting with the choice of subject matter, to that of the environment in which it is offered, including furnishings and details, to advertising. Sociality becomes a differentiating element that attracts even more people, won over by the multi-sensory experience linked to the mix of combined elements and the possibility of socializing with whoever is there, who shares the same interests and tastes.

Online Concept Store: it has the same mold and characteristics as described for the classic physical shop, with variations typical of an evolved version of the same. This implies additional factors that differentiate it even more from classic e-commerce. In it, too, various factors are alternated and harmoniously combined, creating emotions out of nothing that the customer can experience while behind a screen. A possibility comes from the alternation of professionals who manage to create websites or commerce that visually make a difference and convey feelings that induce them to return and thus also ensure loyalty.

Another factor that holds importance is the focus on the customer experience through unmistakable after-sales service and the wide choice of products in the catalogue made available to them.

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Why prefer an Online Concept Store

The online world has undergone many evolutions over the years, affecting its various facets. Let us now take a look at the one concerning online sales with the latest novelty: the Concept Store Online, what makes it different and why it is preferred to the previous E-commerce version.

preferring online concept store

We have previously described what an online concept store is and what characterizes it. Let us now see why we prefer it:

  • a feature that stands out among many is the natural and spontaneous ability to move the user, despite being behind a computer screen or smartphone. To make this happen, website graphics must be designed, organized, and rendered to convey human warmth, typical of a physical shop that has super-dedicated shop assistants for its customers.
  • the online concept store provides all the factors typical of the physical concept store, which excite people, as well as promotions and discounts often not offered in physical boutiques. Moreover, the online catalog is often richer than the physical one. This leads many customers to approach the ”concept store site” much more than leaving home to go shopping.
  • another element that makes the difference and is of great impact: the customer can shop from the comfort of his sofa at home without much effort. Very often, you have access to Concept Stores Online in other European countries, this implies a very wide choice of products that are not only trendy at the exact time of the country you live in.
  • loyalty is due not only to the originality of the products, and the human warmth that the site conveys but also to the possibility of being part of Facebook groups created to connect people who share the same tastes. This implies a certain sociability that one initially thought could only characterize a physical boutique.
  • an online concept store, therefore, having all the above-mentioned characteristics, also makes a difference in the way it is sponsored and presented to the public: it is described with storytelling, whereby certain situations or products are described in such a way as to convey emotions, making the user feel part of the story and description, sharing the feelings.

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How to Open an Online Concept Store


What you need to assess

Let’s move on to the practical and productive part: what should you consider when deciding to start an Online Concept Store?

First of all, as a first step, it is necessary to identify your intended audience, what is technically called ”buyer personas”. Once defined, you need to understand what this audience might need, or simply want/seek online. This is the basis for success! Because it’s all well and good to differentiate yourself, it’s all well and good to sell original products that are hard to find anywhere, but what if they are not sought after by customers because they don’t need them? So concentrate all your energy, in the first phase, on this market analysis and then continue with the other phases.

online concept store considerations

Then decide on the theme and the various factors to combine to give your customers the most unforgettable experience! To do this, you need to sketch out a couple of alternatives that are going to be the winners among the myriad of ideas you will have for your Concept Store site.

Then try to combine the factors that are most relevant to people’s needs. Your online boutique should reflect unique emotions and suggestions related to the theme you choose. It is a golden opportunity you will have to unleash the dreams you have always let the drawer hold. Well, it’s time to pull them out and bring them to life!

Then you move from sketching your ideas to creating a site that meets the needs of your audience. In doing so, you cannot forget or underestimate what differentiates a Concept Store from ordinary e-commerce. For e-commerce management, it is important to rely on professionals who offer their creativity in building brick by brick a site that is useful for the user, beautiful to look at, so takes care of the visual part, and above all: makes it feel incredibly human, which will make it your favorite online shop. Equally important is the choice of the logo will be the icon, the image in which your business will be reflected with the corresponding multisensory emotions. Therefore you must analyze what are the best alternations of colors that combine best in a logo that will reflect your dreams come true. Another factor that should not be underestimated is the privacy law part, entrusting it to an expert in the field.

Here we come to the practical part which includes the choice of courier so that a unique and unforgettable post-purchase service is guaranteed. A fundamental characteristic of the latter is immediate availability at the moment the customer places an order; the speed of delivery; kindness and friendliness towards customers. Last, but not least, is the choice of personnel who will be part of your customer service (whether small or large): people who have the empathy that runs in their blood to guarantee support, in the event of problems with their order, to ensure and solve the problem or clarify doubts.

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Which marketing strategies to adopt

The very essence of the Concept Store leads to marketing strategies that are a natural consequence: customers are fascinated by these online shops that transform a very simple and common act, such as online shopping, into a very varied and fascinating personal experience. The intensity of the emotions that this type of online boutique offers leads customers to spontaneously want to share this experience with their friends and acquaintances.

This implies a decrease in the need for advertising and therefore reduced costs for the business since it is already sponsored by word of mouth from customers who have enjoyed the unique experience. This type of marketing is very much inspired by an American modality that has yielded fantastic results for many companies, so it was well thought out to take a cue from it.

For this marketing strategy to work, the concept store’s offerings must be specialized: the concept must be able to fuse quality services with original products by enhancing their perception through a well-organized site that conveys warmth. In short, a fascinating atmosphere typical of a journey of exploration, which involves and interests all the customer’s senses.

This marketing strategy applied to the Concept Store aims to increase the number of unique visitors and increase the time spent on the site. The more time they spend there, the greater the exposure to the sensations and emotions that the boutique conveys and the more likely they will be to make an immediate, or at least future, purchase. A very important factor is to take care of the social media side, to achieve the brand awareness necessary for the success and development of your business.

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Two examples of Online Concept Stores

Let’s have a look together at two online versions of this specific type of boutique, to satisfy a variety of tastes and interests:

  • Donne Concept Store. It is an online store that provides a variety of women’s products ranging from clothes to accessories. Inspired by it, Donne Concept Gallery opened its doors to organize around six exhibitions per year at the Donne Concept Store. The aim is to be able to exhibit a specific connection between fashion, photography, and visual art.
  • Official Concept Store. It is the ecommerce of the future where everything is creatively possible. It aims to provide customers with innovative products and very fast delivery times, not taking second place to ensure customer satisfaction with the products purchased and after-sales service. The site gives you the possibility to select, on its first page, whether you want to buy men’s or women’s products. For each of the two choices, there is a subdivision between Reflective, Sweatshirts, Fluo, Trousers, Accessories, and Brand.

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