For most millennials, if they do not broadcast an experience on social networks, it is as if the experience had never existed. In a context where consumer attention is highly demanded, it is necessary to know how to create novelty to increase traffic in shops. That explains why more and more brands launch “instagrammable” shops all around the world. So, what needs are they satisfying?

Instagram, the king of social networks

With 14 million users in France and half a billion people connected per day worldwide, Instagram is an application that has become a must. Mainly by stealing the “story” concept Instagram is far surpassing its historical competitor: Snapchat. Now the little white ghost counts 4 times less users than before. The majority of Instagram users are under 25 and spend 35 minutes per day on average, on the app.

Therefore, social networks, particularly Instagram, are a valuable front door for brands. The engagement rate on Instagram for major brands is 58 times higher than on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter since the commitment rate per subscriber exceeds all others: 4.21%.

Their goal is to attract new targets or to freely spread communication shots. Brands know it and for some of them, the engagement of their customers through social networks is the major asset.

Retail at the time of social networks

 This is why new retailers are turning a corner in the design of selfie shops: retail spaces must be designed and built to fit with the aesthetics of Instagram and as much as possible with the social media culture.

These places, where every detail has been thought to be “beautiful”, encourage consumers to take photos and selfies and share their pictures with their community on social networks.

This « instagrammable » stake is not only the struggle of small businesses and independent creative stores. The latest brand to adopt this strategy is Chanel, which launched the “Chanel Beauty House” early March. After opening two accounts entirely dedicated to beauty on Instagram (@welovecoco and, the brand has inaugurated its “Beauty House” on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. A house completely redone in the brand’s colors. You can enjoy the living room and try some lipsticks on the bar, then take a selfie in the mirror room specially designed for it, or finally test some make-up thanks to virtual reality devices, in the living room.

These social media strategies are successful and represent a good way for brands to advertise and create visibility, especially when stars like Beyoncé (111 million subscribers on Instagram at least …) share a selfie in the place in question, as in the Museum of Ice Cream.

Indeed, Museum of Ice Cream, launched in 2017 in New York, is a perfect example of a social media in-store strategy: all the rooms were designed to allow the visitor to take a picture in a magical setting. And for a good reason: today there are already more than 135,000 Instagram posts including the hashtag #museumoficecream. Note that the ticket price to enter this musem/store is 38 US dollars, and sales are very often sold out, even a few weeks before the visits.

A phenomenon that is not ready to stop anytime soon, since Maryellis Bunn, the young woman behind the project, aims to eventually open 180 Museum of Ice Cream in the world.

MOIC Miami Images courtesy of Katie Gibbs
MOIC Miami Images courtesy of Katie Gibbs


If the beauty and food sectors are affected, the Instagram strategy also works with more mainstream and ready-to-wear brands.

Privé Revaux, it’s THE new essential brand of the glasses sector in the US. The concept? Ultra-fashion and very inexpensive ($ 25 on average) sunglasses, something to appeal to all tastes and accessible to all budgets.

A new player in the world of optics that seduces all Hollywood stars such as: Cara Delevigne, Heidi Klum, Mila Kunis …The brand has opened a pop-up store in New York highlighting an innovative lifestyle positioning, and its decor was up to the expectations of customers. The shop actually took place in a former Asics store, itself built in a former subway station in New York, which explains the presence of a subway car in the middle of the store.

On the decor side, there is a cotton cloud hanging in front of a sky blue kakemono, allowing customers to take their picture in front of it and spread the photo on social networks (with the # indicated on the panel in order to remind customers to quote the brand in their posts…). You want to be photographed in space? No problem, another corner is composed of a rock and a galactic background, for a very sci-fi atmosphere!

The goal? Create traffic in this new kind of store and extend the experience on social networks by being a bearer of a “cool” and appropriate image to Instagram. A successful strategy, welcomed by the presence of Nicki Minaj, a famous American rapper, at the opening of the shop.

More generally, the “Instagrammable Stores” contribute to create a feeling of community and belonging of the customers towards the brands: by sharing photos taken in the same place, these become ambassadors of a brand – and a lifestyle that they are proud to represent.

Brands have understood that Instagram is a key player for their retail strategy. But Instagram does also serve brands: the network has recently launched a “shop” function to allow brands to tag their products and invite customers to purchase instantly. Instagram as an e-commerce site: a business to follow…

Save the date for the next Paris Retail Week show from 10 to 12 September 2018

For its 4th edition, the biggest European trade event will take its full scope and will gather in Pavilion 1 of Paris expo Porte de Versaillethe e-commerce sector, dedicated to solutions for e-retailers, ranging from digital marketing to logistics, and the Store / Equipmag sector, dedicated to physical commerce and distribution.

Click here for free Badge request 

Pour sa quatrième édition le plus grand événement retail européen de la rentrée prendra toute son envergure et réunira dans le Pavillion 1 de la Porte de Versailles le secteur E-Commerce, dédié aux solutions e-commerce, du digital marketing à la logistique et du secteur Store / Equipmag, dédié au commerce physique et à la distribution.

Demande de Badge gratuit ICI

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After studying Languages & Communications, Adeline Çabale started her career at L’Occitane en Provence as Visual Merchandiser. For 8 years, she took part in the VM strategy, and in the strong growth of the cosmetics company. She worked on store concepts, flagships, store animation, and Shopping Experience. Between 2011 and 2013, she completed a GFM Executive MBA at Institut Français de la Mode. In 2014, she wrote her thesis about digital in-store entitled: “Retail 2.0: the new challenges of Shopping Experience”. She is now a Retail Expert, specialist in Customer Experience, Omnichannel and Retail-tainment. She does consulting, training and also organizes Retail Tours in Paris, New York and London, showing the best of connected stores. She co-founded the Parisian Retail consulting agency “Retail Factory” in 2017.