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Updated 27 May 2017


2 Ways an experiential retail management strategy will bring customers to you

Opening up the shop and simply waiting for customers to walk in, like you normally do, won’t work anymore. You need to attract shoppers with worthwhile in-store experiences. 


Pritesh Ruthun , 28 March 2017  Share  0 comments  Print


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The retail sector is experiencing its most uncertain era since the dawn of the Internet in the early 90s. According to dotActiv: “Empowered consumers are now in control. If you don’t offer memorable shopping experiences, your retail brand is bound to be forgotten.” Retail experts agree that an experiential evolution is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ – it’s a must-have.

The retailers that are winning when it comes to in-store revenues are regularly looking for methods to improve in-store shopping experiences. But, how do you go about implementing an experiential strategy that drives sales? 

Related: 6 reasons why independent retailers often close shop


DID YOU KNOW?

Last year, sales increased by 5% at Selfridges in the UK. But, profits were down due to continued investment by the department store group. The business is upgrading its Oxford Street flagship location to encourage sustainable growth, and has included the opening of the new Body Studio and Designer Studio, all of which have been built while the store continues to operate.


If you’re at odds deciding on implementing an experiential touch in your retail location, the following reasons might convince you that it’s worth the time and effort:

1. You’ll improve revenue, profitability and market share

“The quality of the in-store experience is of utmost importance and must connect with what the customer considers significant. Several thousand research studies have concluded that the top three relationship building experiences that drive customer satisfaction include: Feeling Appreciated, Convenience, and Perceived Value,” dotActiv reports.

So how do you ensure that customers feel appreciated for their support, that they understand the convenience you’re providing and that they truly value your products? The Retail Alliance Consultancy says you should consider ‘retailtainment’ as a key tool:

“To stand out, inspire Instagram-worthy shopping experiences. More brick and mortar retailers will embrace ‘retailtainment’, a thrilling fusion of retail and entertainment. To encourage shoppers to linger longer in stores – and tell their Facebook friends – retailers will cater to consumer lifestyles with premium offerings like boutique coffee shops and bars.”

The planet’s leading retailer, Walmart, is investing in retailtainment. The company asks its suppliers to help transform retail outlets into stimulating locations for consumers. By providing product demonstrations, samples and ‘headline-making’ promotions and events (like inviting celebrities to stores), the retail giant is boosting store traffic and sales.

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2. You’ll get to know your customers better

Both in-store, and online, customers are looking for a wider range of products and services to meet their needs. Whether it’s retro MP3 players that hark back to nostalgia or essential kitchen items, consumers aren’t simply buying the first and cheapest – they are searching for more options.

Related: Watch these 4 ‘flags’ to stay ahead of your franchised retail competitors

For you to provide these shoppers with products that are on point, in-demand, and relevant, you need to know their tastes and expectations. You can use your experiential retail tactics to capture shopper information, preferences, and even their wish-list of items. dotActiv explains:

“Understanding the importance of a product to your target customer is absolutely critical when considering to drop or keep products. Assortment optimisation software should be used to localise and optimise your assortments to ensure that products that are critical to your customers are not discontinued or dropped.”

Making a move to offer better in-store experiences will require some planning and resource allocation. You’ll need to invest in digital technologies to capture customer information too. dotActiv says that in the past, retailers reacted to customer demands. Now you need to anticipate them.

“Retailers must understand the wants and needs of their target audience to design matching in-store experiences,” dotActiv says. Don’t you think it’s time you leveraged the power of experiences to drive in-store retail sales?


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The retailers that are winning when it comes to in-store revenues are regularly looking for methods to improve in-store shopping experiences.
  • Walmart, is investing in retailtainment. The company asks its suppliers to help transform retail outlets into stimulating locations for consumers.
  • dotActiv says that in the past, retailers reacted to customer demands. Now you need to anticipate them.
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About the author


Pritesh Ruthun


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