Retailtainment helps to enrich the shopping experience with entertainment activities unique to your brand. Although this infusion of retail and entertainment is not a new concept, this practice is trending again as retailers look to attract more visitors into the store. Despite the popularity of online shopping, many people prefer to visit physical stores to make purchases, large and small. This forces retailers to optimize the shopping experience for their visitors to win out over the competition.
Looking beyond brand loyalty, shoppers demand rewarding and engaging in-store offerings from retailers. According to a retail trends report by Dimensional Innovations, nine out of ten shoppers honor the brand experience as a way to strengthen engagement and loyalty. Furthermore, Agility PR Solutions reveals that 74% of shoppers would prioritize spending for experiences over products. To capitalize on this shift in shopper behavior, you can integrate this concept into your brand marketing strategy.
Exploring the Role of Retailtainment in the Buyer’s Journey
Retailtainment transforms your store location into a place to excite, inspire and engage shoppers. From establishing a place to rest and recharge to boosting visual appeal, there are many ways to integrate an entertainment-centric approach into your retail store. As you strive to provide fun, unique and personalized offerings, you can effectively elevate the shopping experience for your customers.
Retailtainment Strategies to Increase In-store Traffic
These strategies can not only help attract more shoppers into the store, but also encourage return visits. Utilize the following techniques to effectively boost your foot traffic – and brand loyalty.
Focus on Convenience
By providing your shoppers the ultimate in convenience, you can keep them roaming your store for longer periods of time. To start, create a space where they can relax with food and drinks within your retail environment. This type of area primes shoppers for spending time and money in your store after finishing their coffees and snacks or simply taking a moment to rest.
You will need to reflect on the interests and expectations of your target demographic of shoppers to build the appropriate experience. If you are marketing to millennials primarily, for example, you can tap into their love of coffee to draw them into your store. As reported by The Simple Dollar, nearly 41% of people in this age group have admitted to spending more on coffee annually than they have placed in their retirement accounts. You can take advantage of this indulgence by placing a cafe within your store. Through their partnership with Starbucks, Target has long been a frontrunner in this realm, though there is still room for other retailers to follow suit.
When education comes in the form of fun classes and workshops, everybody wins. Your shoppers learn how to effectively utilize your products in their everyday lives and your store has the opportunity to increase store traffic. You can have industry experts come in to lead the seminars or simply train your employees to teach the classes.
Everyone from hardware stores to the tech giant, Apple, has started offering their own educational classes in recent years. Collectively called “Today at Apple,” the retailer offers a wide range of classes teaching creative skills like video, coding and design to kids and adults. These educational sessions help shoppers learn useful skills while building knowledge of and loyalty to Apple products. Another example is Lowe’s UpSkill Project, which offers free workshops to teach homeowners common DIY skills such as painting, tiling and replacing fixtures. With your own brand of classes or workshops, you can acquaint shoppers with your product lines through skill-building activities.
Provide Visual Appeal
A rich visual environment makes shopping fun, exciting and memorable. Boosting visual appeal throughout your store is as easy as setting up intriguing product displays and other highly visual elements. This will inspire shoppers to pull out their phones, take photos and share their experience on their favorite social media platforms, Instagram in particular. This will create a word-of-mouth effect, as others will want to do the same. This is due in part to the fear of missing out (FOMO), as nearly 70% of Millennials face this feeling on a regular basis – primarily thanks to social media – and it drives their appetite for experiences.
When creating visual appeal, make sure that your elements tell a story about your brand or product lines. Theses stories become highly ‘grammable,’ or ready for rapid sharing on Instagram and other social media platforms. Big brands, like M&Ms, are making waves with this retailtainment strategy. M&M’s recent Flavor Vote Pop-Up, for example, generated tons of interest by inviting shoppers to create a new flavor and vote for their favorites. In certain areas, they could even visit the pop-ups to see, smell and taste the new candy flavors before voting. When used in this way, visual appeal can go a long way in promoting your brand, increasing traffic and strengthening loyalty.
Leverage Emerging Tech
By incorporating new technologies, you can take advantage of its novelty and overall functionality in optimizing the shopping experience for your customers. Big attention-grabbers in this realm are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices. These high-tech systems allow for the complete immersion into a world built to tantalize the senses.
Most shoppers welcome the idea of using VR and AR in the retail environment. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, more than 60% indicate that VR would actually deepen their engagement with a brand. Moreover, Infiniti Research predicts that shopping decisions that will be powered by AR and VR are among the top retail technology trends of the future. Recently, Lacoste achieved great success with this approach through the launch of their LCST Lacoste AR app. This app allows their shoppers to virtually try on shoes, as well as enjoy AR experiences with window displays, in-store signage, and promotional postcards. And it works, as more than 30,000 users have engaged with 3D products through the app.
Utilizing Retailtainment to Improve the Shopping Experience
By integrating these strategies into your store, you can effectively increase traffic and strengthen brand loyalty across the board. Whether you are offering shoppers a cup of joe or engaging them through VR, they will feel supported and appreciated by your brand. Your efforts will undoubtedly enrich the retail experience for every shopper who comes through your doors. Work on boosting your brand with retailtainment – one step at a time – until you achieve, or even surpass, your store marketing goals.