Last week I was sharing our latest trends report with POPAI members at their annual retail conference. One of the key themes across all the presentations was the need to help today’s retailers deliver better experiences to shoppers – something that brand manufacturers and design agencies need to be thinking of, just as much as the retailers themselves.
But what exactly does a great retail experience look like? Is it about the Apple Store or Burberry Regent’s Street treatment – extravagant flagships, rammed full of the latest technology and innovation?
Actually, as some great speakers at the conference demonstrated, a great experience can be quite simple:
· Universal Pictures showed how the use of holograms in HMV stores increased sales of their films significantly ahead of competitors
· For PZCussons it was as easy as putting Unicorns on pack, and asking Primark for a bit of shelf space
Ok, so these both required some smart thinking, planning, and yes, some investment. But the benefit was clear not only for the brands, but also for the retailers as well. And not just in ROI, but also in terms of differentiation in shoppers minds – retailers being seen to do something different.
Of course the bells and whistles approach was also on show, as evidenced by the way Vodafone are using their retail environments to bring IoT to life for those of us still getting to grips with smartphones!
As our own Shopper StockTake 2019 data shows, shoppers are trending towards seeking ‘great retail experiences’ and they will gravitate towards the retailers or channels who can deliver. ‘Great’ retail experiences can be as simple as seriously good store layouts or staff interaction, or as complex as innovative flagship stores. There are many levers that can be pulled.
In the context of omnichannel shopping, this growing expressed desire for ‘experience’ is in part driven by the ultra-convenience that on-line can deliver, leaving shoppers with little to no experience. When we look to where, currently, experience can be delivered, this remains firmly in the physical space (store), a place where differentiation can be created to generate a memorable experiences of the brand.
So, consider doing something different to please shoppers, because happy shoppers spend more money!