The next frontier of retail is in people’s homes. If customers won’t visit the store then the retailer could always visit the customer at their home. Waitrose is dipping its toe in the proverbial water here with the recent launch of its In-home wine tasting service.
The company has recognised that it has over 200 wine specialists among its employees and that their expertise could be extended beyond the store. The service involves the wine expert pitching up at a customer’s home with a selection of wines, glasses, and a selection of cheeses and charcuterie.
Not only is this an opportunity for Waitrose to sell more wine but in also providing a very personal experience for the customer the company is developing a deep engagement with the shopper. The opportunity to extend this to encompass other activities such as cooking classes provides a great opportunity.
What pushes this into being a much bigger play is that the wine tasting is one of the first joint-ventures between Waitrose and John Lewis – developed through John Lewis Ventures. When you consider the breadth of categories across this partnership then the in-home activities can be greatly extended to hosting dinner parties where all the crockery etc… is also supplied along with the food. Taking this further, a room could be decked out in John Lewis goods to create a specific atmosphere.
If the company places itself in the position of being a trusted partner – with access to a customers’ home – then the opportunity to deliver groceries and other goods as well as install items when there is nobody at home suggests the potential here is enormous.
Amazon has already been experimenting with having access to people’s homes in order to drop off goods and it has just spent $1 billion on video doorbell company Ring so expect this to be an area that has significant potential – once the security aspects are fully sorted.
Glynn Davis, editor of Retail Insider
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