Another online store makes the leap to physical retail – Moo at the Boxpark

Continuing our look at multi-channel retailing, this week we were interested to see that online card manufacturer Moo have made the jump to physical retail – opening a store in the Boxpark pop-up shopping mall in London’s Shoreditch (a very trendy and innovative retail centre, constructed from used shipping containers that we blogged about before).

Founded in 2004, is an award-winning, global online print business, with customers in over 180 countries. They offer high quality bespoke business cards which are intended to stand out from the usual plain and flimsy offerings that are usually passed around at meetings or networking events.

So why the move to physical retail? As with the ‘Shoes of Prey’ store we blogged about a couple of weeks ago – some customers really want to see and feel the materials before they make their decision. Hence the Moo store’s ‘Try before you Buy’ section where potential customers can check out the different paper stocks and pre-designed packs that Moo have on offer. They also have an embossing machine for luxe cards, which offers customers the chance to customise their cards using the ‘human-powered impressing machine.’ Staff are also on hand to help customers choose the right products – with ideas, advice and samples. They also have a series of evening ‘after-work’ workshop talks booked in the space – such as ‘PR for small business and ‘Marketing Trends’ which are also streamed live on the web. Another bonus to popping into the Moo store is that clients can save on shipping fees by collecting orders placed online from the store.

So what’s it like inside? As you can see from our photos the exterior of the store is much the same as the other units at Boxpark – with a plain grey fascia and minimal signage. Once inside though, the enticing displays are a continuation of the clean, bright online design which has seen win three ‘webby’ awards. The clear, large format graphics, video screens and displays of merchandise make for a fun environment within the limited space of the shipping container, offering inspiration and information. Like the Mini Store at Westfield that we blogged about.

The Moo brand is quite unique in what it offers to customers and they have a lot of brand loyalty with many feeling like Moo is their friend – a feeling reinforced by their simple design, friendly language and email messages from their Moo print robot during the online ordering process.

Their initial aim, when the online business started in 2004, was ‘to disrupt the $100 billion global print industry by combining the values of professional design with the accessibility and reach of the web.’ This store really presents a physical continuation of those aims – where customers come in to mooch about in a familiar environment, and the focus on retail design and customer experience help to develop and reinforce the strength of the brand.