What is Experiential Retailing?
How can Experiential Retailing help our store?
In its simplest form, experiential retailing is an experience given freely by a retailer to create value for their customer. It may be educational, technological, emotional, fun, entertainment or it may just involve them trying/experiencing a product. However, like everything, just because it’s “experiential”, doesn’t mean that it will be effective at converting sales or engaging your customers.
One of the most critical aspects of experiential is that it must be a positive and memorable moment for the customer. Fully immersing them in your brand and retail story. Done properly, retailers can expect;
- Increase profit and average spending per docket/transaction
- Wake up your disengaged customers, give them a reason to take notice of you
- Increase advocacy on Social media and word of mouth to friends and family
- Create reciprocity from value received – they may not buy the product that day, but they feel as though they owe you one
- Differentiate your store from your other competitors
A great example of a retailer doing experience exceptionally well is the American Girl store. It’s a magical retail land and social hub for little girls to bond with friends and with their new ‘bestie’ – their Doll. Both the little girl (owner) and the Doll can get new matching outfits, a new haircut at the Doll Salon, visit the Doll Hospital for repairs, or visit the fancy café for meals and drinks where the servers dote over the dolls and the little girls. Yes, it’s all under one roof, it’s the whole package; it’s an amazing experience for both the little girl and their parents (in more ways than one, I’m sure).
Today retailers spend more than ever trying to reach customers. ROI with push marketing is down, and many customers just aren’t taking notice of your efforts to connect with them. This customer disengagement is prevalent globally and leads to not only higher marketing costs, but also shrinking profitability and decreased visitation over time.
The quickest way to re-engage your customers is experiential retailing and in-store LIVE events. These two strategies re-engage your ideal customers and according to Rosetta’s 2015 Customer Engagement Study lead to;
- Reduced competitive threat – engaged customers are 2 x more likely to purchase from you even when a competitor has a better deal
- Higher in-store frequency – engaged shoppers will visit 90% more frequently
- Increased spend – spend 60% more per transaction
- Total worth – engaged customers are worth 3 x that of non-engaged customers
So, whether you create a magical Doll World or an innovative appliance store with educational workshops and product experiences. Experiential in-store is where it’s at, simply because you are having a direct ‘experience’ with the retailer; a taste, a play, a listen, a journey.
Make sure you’re playing a BIGGER game than just Sales, make your retail store a memorable journey your customers will never forget.
Look out for Part Two: Experiential Checklist for doing it yourself & Ideas for Appliance Retailers – out next week.