For coffee devotees, there’s something captivating about the aroma of a freshly brewed cup and that first sip in the morning. Luxury coffee and espresso brand Nespresso is tapping into the power of those emotive experiences with the launch of its new immersive flagship boutique concept in Vienna, Austria.
With a global retail network of 809 boutiques in 532 cities, Nespresso views these physical locations as an integral part of its omnichannel approach. “Our retail network is, and remains, one of the best ways to deliver a meaningful brand experience,” said Jean-Christophe Jaunin, Global B2C Head at Nespresso in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We strongly believe in the relevance and power of retail as a brand-building channel. We indeed see that many customers appreciate a physical shopping experience and the direct face-to-face contact with our coffee specialists. Our boutiques act as true brand embassies.”
The physical store network, combined with its DTC model, provides Nespresso with a distinctive opportunity to offer a seamless and personalized experience to customers. “It allows us to deeply understand our customers’ preferences and needs, which enables us to serve them better and bring immersive shopping moments, personal interaction with experts and more human connections than ever,” Jaunin said.
In response to major shifts in the coffee category — driven by younger consumers seeking authentic experiences — and listening to customers’ shopping preferences and convenience needs, Nespresso’s new boutique concept was developed to elevate its retail approach. The result is a pilot concept that focuses on experiences that share coffee as an art.
Nespresso has begun piloting this new concept in Austria, with intentions to introduce it globally over the next five years. The new flagship boutique aims to bridge the gap between offline and online retail, delivering artistic, innovative and in-person brand experiences while incorporating sustainable design.
An Experience Designed Around 5 Arts
To inspire and excite shoppers with the stories and artistry behind coffees from around the world, Nespresso will feature inspiring elements from the five arts of the coffee universe across its established boutique network:
- Art of Design, an ambition to spark feelings and evoke emotions through beautiful aesthetics, materials and design. Within the Vienna flagship, Nespresso has introduced café-inspired seating areas for sharing a coffee moment.
- Art of Coffee Savoir-Faire, from tasting rituals and coffee masterclasses to in-depth knowledge about the roasting and grinding of coffee beans, Nespresso will enable customer discovery of coffee aromas and origin taste characters.
- Art of Sharing and Caring , using storytelling to bring customers closer to Nespresso through a shared passion for coffee. Through local events and partnerships, the new flagship concept offers a localized experience designed to bring those who love coffee and the Nespresso community together.
- Art of Circularity, showing visitors how Nespresso recycles its used aluminum capsules; upcycles and takes actions to preserve the planet’s resources through interactive dashboards; and a dedicated Recycling Corner in the boutique where customers will be able to return their used capsules. For the first time in a Nespressoboutique, refurbished coffee machines are for sale.
- Art of Hospitality, focusing on a renewed commitment to excellent customer service and an experience in line with its hospitality heritage, offering an inviting, warm atmosphere to enjoy coffee. The flagship boutique also provides exclusive services, such as gift engraving and product personalization.
Storytelling and Brand Immersion via Digital Moments
The experiential Vienna flagship includes several innovations, such as a Coffee Lab where customers can explore the stories and expertise behind Nespresso coffees, as well as learn about different ways to prepare and enjoy coffee through a variety of brewing methods — including those beyond the Nespresso system.
These storytelling moments are amplified by blending digital with the physical store environment to further immerse consumers with all their senses in the brand universe and engage with them in a personalized way, Jaunin said. “For example, tasting rituals, already successful in our boutiques, will now be complemented with digital experiences, such as interactive dashboards that tell the story of how we support coffee farmers through the AAA Sustainable Quality Program,” he added.
Starting in summer 2021, the Vienna flagship also will introduce augmented reality (AR) experiences and a multisensory immersive room capable of creating a variety of brand moments. Visitors will be able to digitally interact face-to-face with top chefs or engage with coffee farmers taking part in the brand’s AAA Sustainable Quality Program.
The use of AR is just another way the brand is hoping to inspire its customers and showcase the art of coffee using state-of-the-art technology and sensory excitement — and including digital aspects in its boutiques is a significant part of its wider retail strategy. “Our digital elements, such as the dashboards and also augmented and virtual reality experiences, create that frictionless experience and make the boutique a more engaging environment for customers,” said Jaunin.
Unique and Localized Connections
Each flagship will be unique, focusing on local partnerships, merchandise, activations and initiatives to create curated and personalized experiences. To make the Vienna flagship boutique uniquely local to its home city, Nespresso introduced Viennese design and décor throughout, including cushions based on the designs of historic artist Josef Hoffmann, original lighting by iconic manufacturer WOKA and skylights inspired by the architecture of the famous Palais Ferstel. This local approach extends to the tastes and aromas that customers can enjoy: shoppers can enjoy typical Viennese coffee recipes such as “Wiener Einspänner,” “Fiaker” or “Franziskaner.”
An Emphasis on Sustainable Boutique Design
For the new flagship concept,Nespresso has collaborated with retail sustainability experts Quantum4 to ensure sustainable furniture design, sourced to reduce the carbon footprint and minimize overall environmental impact. In addition, the flagship boutique is BREEAM certified.
Nespresso also is assessing and reviewing the sustainability performance of its boutiques around the world against 69 criteria within three categories: climate change, health and wellbeing and resources and circularity. Since 2017, all new boutiques have been equipped with sustainability features such as LED lighting, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified wood, table tops made with recycled coffee grounds or the use of energy from renewable resources. By 2030, Nespresso’s ambition is to run all of its permanent boutiques entirely on renewable energy.