Samsung on using its KX store as a film studio to deliver 'hybrid' experiences

How the flagship store has had to adapt to consumer needs during the pandemic.

Samsung: Clara Amfo hosted in-store 'Lunch and listen' talks
Samsung: Clara Amfo hosted in-store 'Lunch and listen' talks

When Samsung hosted a vertical gig starring pop singer Mabel at its experiential shop in Coal Drops Yard, London, last year its strategy for online content was to create "FOMO" (fear of missing out) content that would entice consumers to attend the next event.

Fast-forward to this year and the brand has had to change this strategy completely because of the coronavirus outbreak. No longer can it deliver 350 events within the space of five months (it opened at the end of July 2019).

So how has the brand adapted? Tanya Weller, director of Samsung Showcase, told Campaign that the store has been able to function as a film studio of sorts.

This means delivering a series of hybrid events, such as a "Lunch and listen" in August, hosted by Clara Amfo, which included an in-store audience, as well as viewers at home. In encouraging people to take a lunch break, the event allowed Samsung to showcase its latest tech.

Then, for Halloween, the store hosted an augmented-reality treasure hunt where visitors had to solve a series of tricks to win a chocolate treat or limited-edition phone case with a spooky design. This also had elements that people could access from home.

"Using it as a filming studio has been a big success and it's helped us drive traffic and engagement online, which has been fantastic," Weller said. "The Listen series was really about short, snackable, engaging content that is culturally relevant in the moment, but using KX as a backdrop and integrating our product, where it was necessary and felt right."

There are plans to reopen the store on 2 December after the second lockdown in England is due to end, however, as uncertainty remains, Weller said that she's "very used to changing plans quite quickly", so understands that the team will have to be "mega-flexible".

It means Weller has a short-term plan for events, taking each quarter as it comes.

She added: "We pivoted massively to digital and I don't think we'll ever change from that. We are firmly now an online and offline destination, but hopefully, we can pivot back towards some of the in-life experiences that we were famed for in our first six months."

In terms of the shopping experience, Samsung's chief marketing officer, Benjamin Braun, said that the brand has noticed customers making bigger purchases online this year, such as large fridge freezers that have a capacity for bigger food shops.

Although Samsung has found that people are now more comfortable buying such products online, it still wanted to remove any barriers that may halt purchases. This includes free returns, being able to try out products for 30 days, installation services and monthly payments.

To further enhance the online shopping experience, Samsung KX also offers video-call services. Customers can book an appointment with the support lounge, and talk over video call to have their issue resolved, with the team able to remotely access devices while talking to the customer.