How Other Retailers Can Give The Tesla Store Experience

by | Oct 10, 2019

Give your customers the Tesla Store Experience. “Tesla doesn’t do anything the way everyone else has always done things,” says customer experience site, WayfinD. Perhaps that explains why their 200 locations aren’t referred to as stores or showrooms, but rather, as galleries.

These galleries display an entire worldview of a future without combustion engines. Tesla’s focus seems to be more focused on promoting the brand as much, if not more, than just cars and energy products. It’s about the tesla store experience. In fact, Tesla “stores” are more representative of  Apple or Warby Parker locales than typical car dealerships, and what’s more, they’re hinting at a new future for retail creative the tesla store experience.

Apple Stores trimmed the branding of its retail locations in the last few years, editing out the word “store” completely. Since then, the tech giant refers to its “stores” simply as “Apple.”  So, for example, the company’s Union Square location is known as Apple Union Square.

“The store becomes one with the community,” says Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior VP of retail, which goes along with the brand’s repositioning of its locations as community hubs and gathering places. Apple’s philosophy has actually evolved into more of a lifestyle, integrating it’s technology into the daily lives of consumers. There are now bike helmets that communicate with your iPhone, jump ropes that count your hops, and smart controllers for your lawn sprinklers.

 “Other retailers would be wise to follow the examples of Tesla and Apple and accept, as a recent headline in The Atlantic put it, The Future of Retail is Stores That Aren’t Stores.”

~ WayfinD

Unfortunately, some stores are stuck in a one-dimensional mindset and haven’t shifted to the tesla store experience. The Gap, for example, sells khakis and jeans. Amazon, on the other hand, sells whatever it wants and does whatever it wants. It’s not just an”Everything Store“, it’s an “Anything Engine.”

And Apple is following suit. It’s not just a tech company any longer. The brand also wants to be an entertainment company, and it’s willing to put out 1 billion on content to compete with Netflix, Amazon, and HBO.

Walmart passed up the opportunity to move beyond a one-dimensional store during a time—about a decade ago—when it was the world’s most dominant retailer. According to WayfinD, its loyal customer base basically gave Walmart their blessing to expand into TV, restaurants, cars, etc., because people believed in the Walmart brand. But Walmart didn’t do that.

Meanwhile, Amazon exploded in consumer culture, going where Walmart had hesitated to go. Amazon’s philosophy is to try anything because it believes it can do anything. The brand skews hard boundaries on product categories and views convention as the enemy, not the rule book. In other words, there’s no lasso tying it to the one-dimensional box or “store” mentality.

“That’s one reason why what we used to call ‘stores’ in the 20th century can’t survive today. They are still the same. And they are still good for only one thing: transactions. A mere store can’t survive in a consumer culture ruled by Amazon. If stores want to survive, they must become something else entirely. They must become “anything engines,” too.”

~ WayfinD

Going forward, retailers must embrace the idea that there’s no such thing as a store anymore. This type of thinking can then open the mind to an entirely new concept of retail—one, that’s not shackled to the age-old focus on transactions and purchases first. If anything, transactions are the least important thing. Brands must also give up the outdated idea of same-store sales and start implementing the tesla store experience. After all, if there’s no such thing as a store, then there’s no such thing as same-store sales. 

Retailers must become—like Amazon—what’s been referred to in this article as “anything engines”. In a broad sense, this means consumers can get whatever they want, anytime they want, and however they want it. Most importantly, it means they can pretty much get it immediately, or at least the same day.

Sound intimidating and a little impossible? Consider this: “anything” doesn’t just refer to products. It also includes information, photos, videos, and communication—things that can get delivered immediately.

“If store brands can’t figure out a bigger vision, they will just become a piece of the “anything” pie. Stores reimagined as Anything Engines get to be something more. Not just one-dimensional sellers of shoes, or books or records.”

~ WayfinD

Proactive retailers that want to move beyond the boundaries of the single-function store should embrace the 3 suggestions below:

1. It’s Not Just The Tesla Store Experience, Start thinking like, Apple & Amazon As Well

“These spaces reflect a horizon-free vision of brand. There are no limits. No boundaries” points out WayfinD. Tesla builds rocket ships, Apple’s going to be an entertainment company, and Amazon gets to…well, it gets to do whatever it wants.

Today is an era in which consumers want everything from any company. So essentially, it’s up to brands to decide if they believe they can make anything possible and give the tesla store experience.

2. Reevaluate Precepts About What a Store Is

The tesla store experience isn’t only about the store, “If specialty and traditional store brands have any hope of surviving the dominance of Amazon, they must break out of the one-dimensional box and not focus on transactions,” advises WayfinD.

Stores must become a space for identity formation and social environments. They must also provide consumers a place to be “seen” in real life, and begin to view their competition not necessarily as other stores, but as the anything engines, they carry in their pockets (i.e. mobile phones, which provide multiple services, affecting the broader economy and culture, as well as informing the way companies operate).

Tesla Store Experience
The Tesla Store Experience

3. Evolve or Expire

“Stores simply can’t compete, as they currently function, against anything engines,” says WayfinD. “We are in the first few battles of what will soon become a zero-sum competitive battle. If stores stick to selling one thing, they won’t be selling anything very soon.”

Abercrombie, for example, only sells clothes. Amazon, however, does a million things. They are an anything engine, much the same as a mobile phone is today. The modern consumer expects it. By expanding outside the store mentality into an anything engine mindset, retailers ensure that they won’t be stuck in just one lane.

The Tesla Store Experience Takeaway

Buying is now something that can be done anywhere with the internet and mobile devices, lessening consumers’ reasons for visiting physical locations.

Companies like Tesla and Apple understand the need to be more than a store, they need to provide the tesla store experience and have taken steps to move outside the one-dimensional box and offer multiple services that will resonate with Digital Natives and have a broader effect on the economy and culture, as well as ensure their survival.

Learn how Rain Retail can help you give customers the Tesla Store Experience.