“Mobile retail aspires to attain food truck-like popularity” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

“Mobile retail aspires to attain food truck-like popularity” by Tom Ryan via Retail Wire

Mobile retail is at the early experimental phase of development, but operators are looking to achieve the same level of acceptance as food trucks have achieved in the restaurant space.

The Lovesac Company, the home furnishing brand known for its adaptable Sactionals couches, just launched Mobile Concierge in the Seattle and Washington, D.C. areas. Customers schedule a visit from the van and, inside, receive live demonstrations, see the latest innovations, touch and feel fabric cover options, and design their own Sactionals setup to fit their space and style.

Mobile Concierge builds on the growing use of showroom and virtual appointments, as well as interactive Facebook Live demos over the last year.

“We wanted to create a new way for customers to shop our products, free from the stress of busy shopping centers and limited parking,” said Shawn Nelson, Lovesac CEO and founder, in a statement. “We decided to bring the showroom right to the customers’ home with a one-on-one, tailored shopping experience.

Santa, created by former Wework veterans, recently debuted in Texas with two trucks canvassing Plano and Frisco. The trucks offer a weekly-rotating range of fashion, beauty, tech, home décor and gifts with a focus on locally-made.

The initial idea was to offer front door exchanges to eliminate the hassle of online returns, but Santa’s mobile trucks also enable customers to try on clothing and see how décor looks in their homes before purchasing. Customers see the merchandise on the Santa app and are notified when the truck will be in their area.

“Santa is an attempt to create a new kind of physical store that moves around and is backed by logistics and technology,” Roee Adler, Santa’s CEO, told The Dallas Morning News. “We are here to surprise and delight.”

In the IBD (independent bike dealer) channel, Vancouver-based Velofix’s Sprinter vans offer bike repair at rider’s homes as well as assembly and delivery of bikes bought online.

Kitzuma Cycling Logistics, based in Asheville, NC, solely works with direct-to-consumer bike brands on fully-assembled home delivery. Taylor Essick, Kitzuma co-founder and CEO, said in a recent statement, “We knew when we started Kitzuma that for brands selling direct, this model offered so many benefits.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Why haven’t mobile vans become a bigger opportunity as a selling and engagement tool for retailers? Do any of the mobile selling options described in the article project a broader opportunity for retail? Click on the following link to view and participate in this lively discussion: Mobile Retail Discussion

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