No matter how big or how small, people crave interaction.
Whether it’s double-tapping a picture of a puppy on Instagram to show a friend half-way across the world you’re thinking of them, receiving a string of brightly coloured Emojis from a mum to show she’s still hip and happening, or a collection of random GIFs from a dad who’s just learned how to send them, people thrive on connecting with other people and feeling they’re a part of something special.
Last weekend, my husband and I strolled through Borough Market in London, and even on an unusually cold March Saturday in our technology driven society, London’s oldest food market was still a bustling hive of activity – there were fruit and veg sellers shouting out their weekend specials; a celebration of street food vendors stewing, frying and grilling all kids of wonderful exotic meals; artisan bakers and cheesemakers with the most perfect looking fairy-tale treats… and the people! People everywhere! All over the place! It was a real sensory overload – the excited chatter of people, mixing with a kaleidoscope of colours and smells coming from the stalls, and smiles, smirks and laughter at every turn!
As someone who regularly shops at online-only stores such as ASOS and Amazon from the comfort of my couch (usually in my pyjamas!) I was happily surprised at how busy and energised the seemingly archaic marketplace was! Sure, Borough Market is one of London’s biggest tourist attractions, but I couldn’t help but think there must be something more to it than just a top 10 tick-a-box item suggested by TripAdvisor.
With Digitisation, Customer Experience and Employee Engagement and Experience at the forefront of business minds, places like Borough Market remind us how energising and exciting human interaction and connections can be.
On paper, Borough Market (and places like it) should be empty – they are out-dated, buying things takes much longer than quick, hassle-free taps of a laptop trackpad or 1-click app purchases. But the experience of being part of the chaos of the marketplace, the experience of witnessing parents sharing fresh produce with their children, the experience of giving and receiving smiles with other shoppers is something that will never be archaic or out-dated.
So, next weekend, put down your Amazon Wishlist and your “Save For Later” dream wardrobe on ASOS, and go out grab and coffee and croissant and have a wander around your local market. Take in the sights and smells and sounds, and get swept up in the romance of the marketplace experience!
But in the meantime, give us a call at NKD and chat to us about your current customer experience and employee engagement and let us help you make something memorable, like Borough Market.