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商业 - 科技

微软新零售店开张,它可以从苹果身上学到这些经验

Don Reisinger 2015年10月26日

今天,微软首家旗舰店将在纽约开张,届时将与苹果形成硬碰硬的竞争态势。不过,苹果零售店早已成为电子消费品零售业务的黄金标准,其设计和运作方式值得微软认真学习。

    微软的纽约旗舰店本月开张在即,它可能需要向苹果学习几招成功秘诀。

    10月26日星期一,微软的首家旗舰店将在纽约第五大道盛大开张。这家旗舰店已经筹备多年,独占5层楼,使用面积超过2.2万平方英尺。微软声称,这是一家“了解、体验和购买微软及合作伙伴的产品和服务的顶级店面。”它将陈列微软及PC合作厂商的一系列产品,还设有用于提供店内技术支持的咨询台。一座社区影院方便顾客了解最新产品。另外,这家店“到处都配备沉浸式的视频墙。”

    微软对零售并不陌生。实际上,该公司已经在多个国家开设了共计66家零售店。不过,这家纽约门店却是微软的第一家旗舰店,旨在向消费者展示微软世界的一切。它可能也是微软联系顾客的最重要的途径之一。

    美国投资银行Piper Jaffray的分析师吉尼·穆恩斯特认为:“随着PC销量和销售PC的巨型零售商同时缩水,微软非常有必要采用一种新的方式与消费者建立联系,尤其是鉴于消费者正在涌向新的产品类别——比如‘二合一’设备。同时微软也要继续创新。我认为,公司自有的零售店是展示新产品的一种方式。它还增加了一种实际存在感,从而加强了消费者与企业进行联系的能力。”

    说到通过零售与消费者建立联系,大概没有哪家公司比苹果做得更好了。苹果已经在全世界开设了460多家零售店,早已成为电子消费品零售业务应该怎样设计和运作的黄金标准。苹果零售店的设计很独特,欢迎广大消费者试用产品,但从不催促他们购买,店内员工的专业知识也非常丰富。

    这二者的组合使得苹果成为全球最成功的零售商。研究机构eMarketer今年3月表示,在2014年年底,苹果零售店每平方英尺的空间能够创造4798.82美元的收益。奢侈品珠宝品牌蒂凡尼排在第二位,其每平方英尺店面的销售收入只有3132.20美元。

    eMarketer的零售分析师约拉姆·乌姆瑟尔指出:“苹果零售店从设计上就让人们更加认为苹果产品是世界上设计得最好、最时尚的消费产品。苹果在店面设计上使用了大量细节,使其产品达到最好的展示效果,并展现同样的极简主义美学。同时它也使人们加强了苹果产品是‘买得起的奢侈品’这一理念。”

    专家表示,苹果产品成功的秘诀正是微软必须学习的。乌姆瑟尔表示,微软必须从苹果身上学习的一点是,“零售战略要与产品战略匹配。”IDC公司项目副总裁汤姆·麦纳利指出,微软旗舰店要想成功,就要向苹果学习,让零售店显得“诱人而整洁”。他补充道,营造“好的体验”要比专注于提高销量更重要。穆恩斯特则认为,微软要想获得成功,可以吸取苹果的“店内技术支持、进店接待、在线预约和免费讲座”等创意。

    穆恩斯特还建议道:“在店内重点展示你最独特的产品。”他还谈到了苹果在这方面的做法。“要清楚你最看重的是什么。”

    专家们表示,向苹果学习的同时,不依赖传统的零售手段来销售科技产品也是很重要的。苹果已经找到了一种让科技产品的零售变得非常吸引眼球的方法,它的销量随之飙升。传统的消费电子产品零售门店的状态,通常都离苹果有很大差距。

    福雷斯特公司分析师J.P.刚德尔表示:“传统的消费电子产品零售方式已经被打破了:像百思买那种传统的销售方法,只是无差异展示,销售过程提供的产品知识也是有限的,总体的购买体验比较差。”

    刚德尔表示,微软可能已经意识到了这个问题,并且正在规划自己的路线,试图控制人们对自家产品和品牌的看法。他认为,微软目前的零售店虽然并未提供“旗舰”的购物体验,不过它也让微软学到了很多关于零售和顾客的经验。顾客想要什么、以及他们怎样看待零售体验等方面的数据,最终会对微软的旗舰店起到帮助。

    刚德尔表示:“过去几年,微软已经开始缓慢而有目的性地扩展它的零售店版图,纽约旗舰店也是该战略的自然延伸。在零售方面,微软也不是从零开始,这几年来总结的经验也将帮助这家零售店获得更大的成功。”

    除刚德尔之外,其他人也认为微软的旗舰店将获得成功。虽然微软并未透露它究竟为第五大道旗舰店投入了多少资金(另一家澳大利亚旗舰店将于下月开张),但很多专家都表示,微软有较大的几率能够成功地营造出高端的旗舰店体验,促进公司繁荣发展。

    麦纳利表示:“最终,我认为它的关键是要为微软产品创造更高的品牌亲和度。我认为微软零售店已经在这方面取得了成功,而且也将继续取得成功。”

    关于微软旗舰店能否成功,Piper Jaffray的另一位分析师凯瑟琳·艾格伯特更加乐观。当问到这家是否会成功时,她的回答简洁明了:“会。”(财富中文网)

    译者:朴成奎

    审校:任文科

    When Microsoft’s flagship store in New York City opens later this month, it may need to take some cues from Apple to be successful.

    Microsoft MSFT 0.31% will open its first flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York on Monday, Oct. 26. The store, which has been in development for several years, spans five floors and is over 22,000 square feet. Microsoft says that it will be “a premier venue to learn about, experience and shop for the products and services from Microsoft and our partners. “The stores will feature a range of Microsoft and PC vendor products, as well as an Answer Desk for in-store tech support. There will also be a Community Theater to learn about new products and “immersive video walls throughout” the store.

    Microsoft is no stranger to retail. In fact, the company now has 66 retail stores across several countries. The New York location, however, is the company’s first flagship store designed to showcase everything the Microsoft world has to offer. It may also be one of the most important ways for Microsoft to connect with customers.

    “With PC sales and big box retailers who sell PCs both shrinking, it is imperative that there be a means for Microsoft to connect with consumers, particularly as they move into new categories, such as 2-in-1 devices, and continue to innovate in existing ones,” says Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. “I think company-owned retail stores are a way to showcase new products and add a physical presence that improves the ability of consumers to connect with the company.”

    Arguably no company has been better at connecting with customers through retail than Apple AAPL 1.83% . As the tech giant has expanded its retail presence around the world to more than 460 stores, it has become the gold standard for how retail should look and act. Apple’s stores are unique in their design, open to consumers who want to try out products without being pushed to buy, and staffed with knowledgeable employees.

    That combination has helped Apple become the world’s most successful retailer. In March, research firm eMarketer revealed that at the end of 2014, Apple was generating $4,798.82 per square foot of space in its stores. Its closest competitor, luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. TIF -0.17% , could only muster $3,132.20 per square foot.

    “[Apple] stores were designed to reinforce the idea that Apple products are the world’s best-designed, best-styled consumer goods,” says eMarketer retail analyst Yoram Wurmser. “A huge amount of detail went into designing the stores to best showcase Apple products and to reflect the same minimalist aesthetic. The stores also reinforce the notion that Apple products are attainable luxury.”

    The secret sauce that goes into Apple products is something Microsoft must learn from, experts say. Wurmser, for instance, says Microsoft must learn from Apple that its “retail strategy needs to align with the product strategy.” IDC program vice president Tom Mainelli says success in Microsoft’s flagship stores will mean borrowing from Apple the concept of making stores “inviting and uncluttered.” He added that delivering “a great experience” is more important than focusing on driving sales. Munster believes Microsoft could benefit from taking Apple’s ideas of “in-store tech support, a host for check-in, online reservations, and workshops” to be successful.

    “Highlight your most unique products in the store,” Munster suggests, referring to Apple’s own efforts in that regard. “Make it clear what’s top of mind.”

    Learning from Apple and not relying on traditional retail methods to sell technology is critical, experts say. Apple has found a way to make technology retail compelling and its sales have subsequently skyrocketed. Traditional consumer electronics stores, however, are in a much different spot.

    “Consumer electronics retail is broken: selling products at traditional venues like Best Buy BBY 0.68% leads to undifferentiated displays, sales associates with limited product knowledge, and a poor overall buying experience,” Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder says.

    Microsoft may realize that, Gownder says, and is charting its own course to take control over how people view its products and its brand. He argues that Microsoft’s current stores, which don’t offer the same “flagship” experience, have taught the company much of what it needs to know about retail and customers. The collection of that data on what customers want and how they view the retail experience will ultimately help the company’s flagship stores, Gownder says.

    “Microsoft has expanded its Microsoft Stores slowly and intentionally over the past few years,” he says. “The New York City flagship is a natural extension of that strategy, and the years of retail experience gained will make it much more successful than it would have been if it came out of the blue.”

    Gownder isn’t alone in believing that Microsoft’s flagship store effort will prove successful. While the company is investing untold amounts of cash in a Fifth Avenue store (as well as another flagship in Australia that’s slated to open next month), many experts say the chances of Microsoft succeeding in delivering a high-end flagship experience to help its company’s prospects are high.

    “Ultimately, I think it’s about creating more brand affinity for Microsoft products,” Mainelli says. “I think the stores have been, and will continue to be, successful at that.”

    Katherine Egbert, another analyst at Piper Jaffray, put a finer point on predictions for Microsoft’s flagship store success. When asked if the company would be successful, her answer was concise and to the point: “Yes.”

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