The Experiential Retailer.
I've been advising some of our clients in the retail sector over the last couple of years now regarding a shift in consumer purchasing habits and the future of high street, and/or hybrid retailing. A simple idea with a wide remit of creative potential, that the shopping experience needs to be just that, ‘experiential’.
With ever-increasing sales through the internet, the footfall within our towns and cities comprises of a growing percentage of those out for experience first, purchase second. With this target demographic in mind, a focus on converting those shoppers into paying customers is the key.
Ask yourself how you would engage with your audience rather than simply providing a product on a shelf or rack. Coffee bars, personal assistants, in-store courses, experts, events, showcases, live music; find what suits your visitors and your brand(s), that is sustainable and repeatable.
As a marketing consultancy we are always looking at ways to engage target audiences, looking at way to engage and audience to spend more time with the brands we’re dealing with and building a rapport between consumer and brand.
When creating a campaign we look at building empathy with our customers and ultimately ‘making it memorable’. These two things are easily transferable to the retail experiential concept. We can really see this take off in the new wave increase of independent and artisan gems in reinvented city spaces. How can the larger retailer capture this momentum?
So why discuss this now? After a recent ‘catch-up’ discussion with fellow marketing coach @ronnie harris, we briefly touched on the ‘experiential retailer’ and those playing catch-up. I felt compelled to write this now as after that meeting I stumbled upon two different articles singing from the same hymn sheet yet approaching it from different angles.
Have a read of the following two articles. The first by creative communicators WPP coming at this from a tech angle. The second is from Debenhams, recently in the news for it’s disappointing financial results and pending store closures. Debenhams recognises the need to change and in fact Debenhams’ boss Sergio Butcher almost quotes Createinn’s strapline stating, "We have to make sure that every shopping trip is memorable." Let’s hope it’s not too late for them to change their fortunes.