ABN Amro melds bricks-and-mortar with online for first 'stream store'

Source: ABN Amro

As a world premiere, Dutch cheese shop Kaan’s Kaashandel and ABN AMRO are today launching the world’s first live Stream Store in the Dutch town of Alkmaar.

The Stream Store is an experience that lets customers order artisanal cheeses online in real time, as though they were right there at the store.

The omni-channel approach has become ubiquitous in today’s retail landscape, where even large online players are opening brick-and-mortar stores. With this experiment, ABN AMRO is creating an optimum experience that seamlessly meshes online and physical dimensions: the expertise, authenticity, and experience of a brick-and-mortar cheese shop combined with the ease and speed of an online store. Kaan’s Stream Store will be open to online customers until 30 September 2017.

This week, Kaan’s Kaashandel will be offering its products to online customers visiting the world’s first live Stream Store. The Stream Store will give customers a real-time view of the store and its staff, and let them start a purchase via a live chat. Kaan and his team will communicate with the online customers via a video link, provide them with recipe tips, and cut and wrap cheeses while customers watch on screen. Tapping any one of the cheeses in the store will cause a pop-up screen with the corresponding product description to appear.

Kaan’s Kaashandel has a loyal local customer base, but also provides services to Dutch and foreign tourists. “We’ve been doing things the old-fashioned way for many years, but we also want to keep up with modern times. Markets and consumers are changing, shopping streets are changing, and we have to change accordingly as well,” says Kaan. “ABN AMRO asked us to take part in this experiment. We do not have great online visibility yet, so that motivated our decision to participate. I hope the Stream Store will boost online sales of our artisanal cheeses. Alkmaar is famous for its cheese, and this kind of technology will allow us to ship our delicious cheeses to international customers as well.

According to ABN AMRO, independent retailers are vital to any shopping street, but they often suffer from strong online competition. Additionally, many of these retailers consider the omni-channel approach to be something of the distant future. “We started this experiment to boost customer experience by linking the authentic character of a brick-and-mortar artisanal cheese shop with the ease and speed of online shopping,” explains Henk Hofstede, Retail Sector Banker at ABN AMRO. "This enables us to provide independent retailers with a fresh take on innovation and hopefully inspire them."

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