While online business is on the rise and many retail stores have felt the shift, their ability to create an experience that speaks to all the senses gives retailers a valuable edge over their online competitors. Through in-store brand activations and personalisation, retail stores can add another dimension to the consumer experience to ensure there are plenty of visitors over the Christmas period, writes Jo Eleanor of Calligraphy en Vogue
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to creating an stand-out in-store experience that will have shoppers lining out the door:
- Shift the Focus from transactional to experiential
One of the biggest mistakes large and small retailers often make is being heavily focused on achieving transactions as opposed to creating an experience. The shift toward creating an engaging in-store experience has allowed brands such as Apple and Montblanc to maintain a competitive advantage in the face of the online shopping revolution. These brands have achieved success through their clear and comprehensive understanding of their consumer, and translating this understanding into an experience that is engaging and meaningful to the consumer.
Personalisation is currently a major trend in the retail industry. A brand’s ability to create value for their customers with products that are personal and memorable is a significant competitive advantage. Most significantly, there has been a decrease in demand for online personalisation due to increased waiting periods which has opened up an opportunity for traditional brick and mortar stores. Brands such as Kikki K are now offering ‘on-the-spot’ personalisation that is not only efficient but also allows consumers to be apart of the experience.
- The Power of Influencers
Inviting a ‘personality’ who your customers admire into the store is another excellent way to create an engaging in-store experience. For example, you could invite an author, a fashion stylist or a calligrapher to create an interactive experience or personalised products for visitors. This not only creates value for consumers, but also but also allows you to reach a wider audience.
- Create Shareable Content
In this era, shopping has become less about satisfying a need and more of enjoying a social occasion. So why not give your audience something they want to share and talk about? Engaging decorations for the holidays is always a crowd pleaser (the more unique the better). Or, allowing customers to be apart of the experience through a photo booth is another excellent way to create shareable content. Think of something original and on brand that will have everyone showing up on your doorstep to take a snap!
- Think Beyond the Christmas Period
I like to think that by offering an incentive for clients to shop in-store during Christmas you are paving the foundation for long-term brand loyalty. Providing personalised services, beautiful Christmas wrapping or an in-store experience during the festive season is excellent but you should always set your sights on keeping consumers engaged throughout the year. Make opening new consumer accounts a priority during this time to keep shoppers engaged with in-store events and offerings.