Following in the tracks of today’s trendy food trucks, a variety of other retailers are beginning to hit the road with their products. Retailers such as clothing boutiques, jewelry stores and even grocers are decking out trucks and becoming mobile, selling their merchandise from a number of different locations. Selling product out of a truck has some disadvantages, such as limited storage space and the risk of mechanical issues, but it also offers a lot of flexibility and benefits for retailers. First, mobile retailers can go to their audience instead of waiting for their audience to come to them. They can attend events and other large community gatherings and put their brand on the map where their desired audience is already assembled. If a mobile retailer isn’t having any luck with sales in a particular location, they can simply pack up and move to a more profitable spot. This easy flexibility allows mobile retailers to quickly learn where and what type of customers are attracted to their brand, and then make adjustments based on this information. These retailers also have the benefit of being able to “test run” a business idea and work on building a customer base before investing in a more expensive brick and mortar store.
Grasshopper Goods, Wisconsin’s first mobile boutique truck, is a great example of how retailers can find success on wheels. In an article by the Capital Times (July 2, 2018), the truck owner states that the limited space pushed her to be more selective with the product she sells, emphasizing quality over quantity. The truck has a changing room where guests can try on clothing, and is equipped with GPS so customers can seek it out by searching its location. The Milwaukee BID has invited Madison-based Grasshopper Goods to their Holiday Lights Kickoff (November 16) and Cocoa with the Clauses (December 9) events this year, providing a great opportunity to experience a mobile boutique yourself!
Image source: www.grasshopper-goods.myshopify.com
Miansai, a jewelry retailer from Miami, has brick and mortar stores, but has begun selling men’s and women’s jewelry out of vintage cars near high-traffic areas including beaches, concerts, bars, hotels, train stations and airports. Another benefit of selling merchandise out of a creatively-designed vehicle, according to Miansai’s owner, is that the mobile store lends itself to Instagram, making it highly visible on social media.
Image source: http://fashionista.com
Additionally, a startup called Wheely’s is developing Moby-Mart, a self-driving supermarket that uses artificially intelligent holograms to serve customers. The autonomous store is powered by solar panels and has the advantage of being able to remain open 24/7, traveling to business areas during the day and residential areas in the evening. It even has drones on top for delivering larger items to customers who might not be able to reach the truck or transport the items home themselves.
Image source: www.dezeen.com