Companies reliant on in-store experiences are turning virtual, illustrating that they can adapt their business models for online.

WHAT HAPPENED: Furniture company Burrow opened an experiential retail outpost in February, hosting live events like podcast recordings and business panels. With the store temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the brand is working to transition its experience-based business model online.

WHY IT MATTERS

Transitioning in-store experiences online allows companies to invest in a better virtual experience that pays off long term. Newcomer Burrow has compensated for lost store sales by offering virtual tours and a consultation service, sending free fabric swatches and providing interior design advice on demand. The furniture brand also transitioned its planned in-store events to a new weekly Instagram Live session that features interviews with industry leaders across different sectors. Camp NYC, a family experience store with five retail locations, has partially relied on kids’ birthday parties for income. Transitioning this business online, by offering up to 30 virtual birthday parties per day, has helped to make up for lost store sales and has strengthened its sponsorship relationships. While social distancing won’t always be mandatory, both companies can incorporate their new offerings into their traditional business models.