The shops are open!
After the rapid surge in e-commerce sales and the uncertainty around high-street brands and in-store retail, it has been fantastic to see the reopening of retail centres and high street shops. With flocks of consumers queuing up at the doors eager to get their shopping fix, utilising experiential marketing techniques within retail can give brick and mortar a new lease of life after over a year of hibernation.
Also known as retailtainment, experiential marketing within retail environments is the technique of turning retail marketing into entertainment for consumers, to generate memorable shopping experiences via the use of engaging and fun activities which utilise aspects of the five senses to engage directly with consumers, initiate brand loyalty and attract new and existing shoppers into their stores.
We are witnessing experiential marketing budgets being increased significantly across the board this year as more and more brands begin to realise how instrumental experiential marketing techniques are in influencing buying behaviours. That’s why for this article, we are exploring the importance of experiential marketing to retail.
Examples of Powerful Retailtainment
There are so many different techniques that can be utilised to create strong, powerful experiential marketing campaigns within retail environments, including enhanced product display, retail technology such as AR and VR to enhance the experience and engage consumers, utilising elements that engage shoppers’ senses to prolong their memory of the experience and innovative installations which grab consumer’s attention and draw them in to find out more. To get a better idea of the concept, let’s take a look at some of the best examples of powerful retailtainment across the world.
To showcase their mission of saving the world one shoe at a time, TOMS utilised VR technology to create an immersive experience for shoppers, transporting them via VR headsets to Peru, where they witnessed locals waving and smiling and children receiving their first pair of shoes.
This campaign highlighted how the brand was giving back to the world, resonating with new and existing consumers and highlighting TOMS core values.
Proving that brands should take creative chances and risks, even if they don’t initially relate to their business model, the colour standardisation brand Pantone set up their own pop-up cafe in Monaco serving a menu of items in their signature colours.
Their installation was a hit with consumers, strongly resonating with their audience and attracting attention across the globe.
House of Vans
Arguably one of the most impressive examples of some serious retailtainment, the House of Vans located in London, hosts a cinema, a cafe, skateboarding ramps and even a live music venue. It’s a place for their audience to hang out with friends, brimming with street culture, music, art and fashion.
Understanding your consumers is one thing, but understanding how to bring them together and influence buy-in behaviours this well is a whole other ball game.
Located in the centre of NYC, the highly interactive Rosé Mansion has created an engaging, sensory experience for its audiences, where guests can sip rosé wines from across the globe at the vibrant wine bar, explore the wine-themed, eccentric science centre and even enjoy the Instagram-worthy amusement park.
This interactive experience allows consumers to be fully immersed in the world of rosé, learning about the history, science and culture behind the wine and the brand, attracting consumers from all over the world.
What are the benefits of experiential marketing within retail?
The International Journal of Supply Chain Management published a recent study highlighting that 100% of their respondents claimed intimate brand experiences and retailtainment made them more curious about a particular service or product.
The reason that in-store retail activations and experiential campaigns are more efficient and beneficial than typical targeted Google ads or promotional sales is because they are far more memorable and long-lasting in comparison to these other techniques. This means that if the campaign is a success, the brand and the experience they have created will remain stuck in shoppers’ minds, who inadvertently spread the word, resulting in new consumer acquisition, positive advertising and brand love.
There truly are countless benefits to utilising experiential marketing campaigns within retail, with the statistics to back these up. From increasing footfall, engaging shoppers, boosting immediate sales, increasing dwell-time, creating engaging content, establishing relationships between the brand and the consumer, and the on-site data capture… Retailtainment is a powerful marketing and sales boosting tool which brings consumers back time and time again.
Why is experiential marketing so important to retail?
Simply put, we are curious beings. Curiosity is a trait we all possess in some measure, and we all want to find out more when something grabs our attention. Everyone knows when they browse brands online to expect targeted ads and pop-ups or when they watch television to expect several advert breaks and quite often, they don’t even take notice of these. However, when a clever activation is placed in the middle of a typically mundane spot, people get curious and want to find out more.
This kind of attention is invaluable to retail brands, and summarises why exactly experiential marketing is so important to retail. Shoppers want memories, not just products, and personal interactions can go very far in gaining shoppers’ buy-in while allowing them to get to know the brand and its core values.
After over a year of limited social contact, real-life, in-person experiences which engage and bring consumers together are now being cherished and appreciated more than ever before. Hence, emphasising the importance of retail experiences even further, as one of the most beneficial ways for retail stores and their in-store brands to stay relevant amongst the surging sales of e-commerce.
Are you ready to start your journey into Retailtainment?
At Panoptic Events, we deliver world-class experiences cross-sector that amaze and inspire. We have the expertise and solutions to design bespoke and highly effective experiential marketing campaigns. Simply tell us your story, and we will create your legacy.