Someone recently forwarded me an interesting article on FastCompany titled “Can A Startup Store Change The Retail Business?” (read full article) that I thought was worth mentioning here because of how this neat new retail concept is using email marketing.

The basic idea is that a new store has opened up in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood that features a rotating selection of startups and their products at this retail outlet. Essentially, the store completely changes and has a new design and all new products (featuring new startups) every 4 – 6 weeks. This constantly changing inventory and complete reinvention every several weeks is a very interesting idea and certainly keeps things very fresh. After all, most people assume that if they visit a retail store today and then visit it again in a few months, that the product lineup would be something similar. I mean, imagine the next time you walked into Best Buy you found out they no longer dabbled in electronics but sold something totally different.

Most retail stores already understand the importance of email marketing to keep their customers up to date on the latest sales, new items, new store openings, etc, etc. For those retail outlets, email marketing is a crucial part of their marketing mix… and, in those cases, their product lineup is usually the same. Now imagine how important it is for this new “Startup Store” where the store literally reinvents itself every 4 – 6 weeks! The communication strategy for a store like that is even more vital because they constantly need to be telling their customers what is in the store right now, and it can be entirely different than the week before.

According to the entreprenuer who founded this new venture, Rachel Shechtman, a whopping 75% of the people who have come into the store have given their email address to join their mailing list and be informed of the stores next new theme. That amount and percentage of mailing list growth is incredibly impressive! Plus, it highlights the fact that when people are interested in an organization, they are eager and willing to give out their email address so they can receive updates.

The faster their mailing list continues to grow, the more they are going to be able to reach out to people and drive them back into the store. In this case, the email may just be the key driver of all in-store traffic because people might wait until they get an email focusing on what the store has this week that is appealing to them before taking the trip back (and risk being disappointed if nothing is interesting to them).

I always love seeing new unique ideas like this, and since I’ve always got email marketing on the brain, seeing a new venture (even one that is a traditional brick-and-mortar store) have email at the heart of the marketing and communications strategy is great.



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