Cold as Ice: Does a -30 Degree Room Make You Buy?
We are on a constant search for entertainment. We stream music non-stop, rewatch the highlights from last night’s game, and spend entire weekends bingeing on Netflix. Business owners know this, and in the middle of a major retail transformation, stores are trying anything to bring in traffic. But if your store’s entertainment factor doesn’t bring in, engage, and ultimately drive sales, what value is it bringing to your business?
Over the past year, Canada Goose has been introducing “Cold Rooms” in its stores. We specialize in engagement, so we wanted to see if this was just a fun feature, or if it generated real engagement. Sure, it’s an interesting feature, but most Canadians already know how brutal the cold can be. So what value, if any, is it bringing to the customer experience? We headed to the company’s Montreal store to find out.
When we get to the Ste-Catherine Street location, a sales associate is eager to show us the Cold Room. As we turn the corner past a wall of coats, we find ourselves in front of what can only be described as a well-designed icebox.
Through a large window, you can see into the room. It feels a bit like what it must be like to look into an igloo, complete with real ice, and an arctic view.
As the sales associate fits us with coats, it’s clear she genuinely enjoys working with the room, chatting about the features and the coat models. She tells us that since the store’s opening in November, the Cold Room has attracted a substantial amount of business.
“It’s definitely an entertainment factor,” she says. “But most people find it really useful.”
Before closing the door to the -23 degree room, she warns us about the wind tunnel. “It gets really cold, but it’s the most fun part.” Soon enough, the room was -30 degrees, but we could hardly tell.
Once out of the Cold Room, we realized the trick had worked. We wanted to be back in the cold, and back in that coat.
As we handed over the coats, the sales associate explained that while some people come simply for the novelty aspect, from her estimates, roughly 75 per cent of Cold Room users she helps purchase a coat. The feature is a tool, not just an Instagramable destination.
“People come from out of town and are trying to get an idea of what they need for a Canadian winter. It’s a really good way of knowing what you need,” the associate says.
The Canada Goose Cold Rooms are a great example of how to mix entertainment value with real engagement, attracting traffic and sales. And according to the sales associate, many people who tried the Cold Room during their lunch breaks come back to buy.
Even serving people she knows are just browsing is a fun experience. “It’s bringing people in and getting people talking.”
As we headed back out onto the cold Montreal streets, we agreed that the ice-box was a great talking point and an excellent example of experimental shopping done right. But a couple of things left us a little – ugh – cold.
We couldn’t help but see the opportunity for Canada Goose to push this experience just a little further. Where was the email sign-up once you tried on the coat? Or a push notification with a link to the model? We would’ve happily signed up for a winter coat giveaway.
Without a reminder to push us towards a purchase or a way to keep the experience on our minds, it was quickly forgotten. Just like winter itself, in a few weeks, the memory will be far behind us. As if it never happened at all.
Source image: Canada Goose