The stream store is an omni-channel experiment that lets online customers order artisanal cheeses in real time, as though they were actually inside the shop.
While the conversations are in Dutch, visitors to the site can see customers visiting the store and interacting with staff in real time.
Hovering the mouse over any of the cheeses on the counter gives information on the cheese, as well as the opportunity to add it to a basket or cart for shipping worldwide.
There is also an option to interact with the store through live chat, as well as running total of online orders visible.
Jan Kaan and his team can communicate with customers via a live video link, providing recipe tips, and even cutting and wrapping cheeses while customers watch on screen.
The shop will be live for five days during its regular opening hours of 9am to 6pm CET.
ABN AMRO is facilitating the trial approach, which combines online and physical dimensions: the expertise, authenticity, and experience of a brick-and-mortar shop combined with an online store.
"We've been doing things the old-fashioned way for many years, but we also want to keep up with modern times," Kaan said.
"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."
Interest in project
According to ABN AMRO, independent retailers often suffer from strong online competition. The bank said the new approach enables independent retailers to get a fresh take on innovation.
Rob Morren, from ABN AMRO, told DairyReporter, “What we see is that the omni-channel has become a fixture in the retail landscape, and especially smaller brick-and-mortar retailers on the high street have a hard time to keep up with those trends and we really want to give them an inspiring example of how they can approach this.”
Morren said while the experiment is in its infancy, the store had more than 30 orders in the first three hours.
Interest in the project has been high, he added, with both local media and international media picking up on the project. There is also a social media campaign to spread information.
Morren said they would look at the pilot project once it had been completed to see if the strategy could be applicable to other retailers.