Multichannel retailing comes to Russia

Shoppers in Russia are getting their first taste of multichannel retailing, thanks to the launch of Russian household goods brand, Enter.

The new brand, brainchild of Russian entrepreneur, Maxim Nogotkov, has entered the Russian retail market selling 20,000 products via three sales channels: ‘bricks and mortar’ stores, an e-commerce website and a comprehensive catalogue of products.  Product range includes furniture, electricals, electronics, kitchenware, jewellery and toys.

The idea for the new retail concept came after Nogotkov viewed the success of multichannel retailing in countries such as the UK and USA and was convinced the concept would work equally as well in Russia.  He therefore approached international retail consultancy, Shopworks, for help with concept research and development, store design and category management strategies.

“Our focus from the beginning was to promote consumer confidence in both the new brand and the new retail concept,” said MD of Shopworks, Craig Phillipson, “Providing a truly integrated customer experience was essential and we saw the ‘bricks and mortar’ store as a central element in cultivating customer trust and loyalty across all channels.”

With this in mind, the new store design is open and bright yet warm and welcoming.  In a move away from the wood/plastic combination traditionally found in Russian retail stores, the new design uses plywood and paint finished wood to create a warm yet modern feel.  Low level shelving provides a feeling of space and creates a clear view across store, while the use of naturally coloured ceramic floor tiles promotes a general sense of comfort and calm.

The store is also well stocked and uses a combination of product display, graphics and images to demonstrate the full category range available across the three sales channels and to promote the benefits of multichannel retailing to the consumer.

One of the most popular features of the store is the interactive touch screen, embedded into a low level coffee table and located in the furniture department.  The touch screen uses a content-rich software application to enable 360 degree viewing of Enter furniture and allow customers to lay out the furniture virtually in their own ‘home’.  It’s a big hit with shoppers who value the virtual ‘try before you buy’ opportunity.

In terms of Enter’s e-commerce offering, the ‘bricks and mortar’ store adds an extra element of reassurance and flexibility.  With the majority of Russian customers living in apartment blocks, working during the day and unconvinced of the convenience of home delivery, the introduction of a ‘click and collect’ service provides customers with the opportunity to shop online yet collect in-store.  The knock on benefit to the brand is that it has allowed Enter to generate trust in its e-commerce offering and increase footfall to its stores.

“Feedback from customers on the new concept has been very positive,” said Craig, “The format has been so successful that Enter is rolling out a further 20 stores across the country.”

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