Shopping online hasn’t had many parallels with shopping in-store. You sit in front of a screen, browse images of products and click when you’re ready to buy. But last week, a humble cheese shop in the Netherlands brought the in-store experience to the internet, quite literally.
Jan Kaan, the proprietor of Kaan’s Kaashandel, live streamed his Alkmaar store for five days as part of an omni-channel experiment. Visitors to kaansstreamstore.nl were able to virtually position themselves behind the shop’s counter, which meant they could browse actual cheeses and see Jan and his colleagues at work.
The initiative, which was jointly launched by Dutch bank ABN AMRO, also supported live chat. This meant Jan could give recipe tips and cut and wrap cheeses for his online customers in real time.
If the proprietor happened to be busy with an in-store customer, online shoppers could hover their mouse over one of the cheeses in order to find out more about it. Or, if they wished, to add it to their basket and arrange for it to be shipped anywhere in the world.
Kaan’s Kaashandel streamed live for five days between 9am and 6pm CET. If a web user visited outside of these hours, they were told to come back tomorrow.
Stefanie Dorfer, Stylus’ assistant head of Retail, said the shop’s live stream is an “optimum omni-channel experience”.
“It meshes online store dimensions such as ease and speed with physical elements such as expertise, authenticity, and sensory experience of a bricks-and-mortar cheese shop,” she said. “It’s a brilliant example of a traditional retailer evolving to keep up with modern times.”