Say hello to retailtainment

Are we missing out in the name of impulse?

They said the internet was going to revolutionise the world, it sure did.But then again there are just some things that can’t be done on-line, I’ll leave your imagination to ponder that thought for a while!

The art of face to face conversation has taken a bit of a hit over recent years and whilst I am a fan, it seems that to send an email, text or a message or simply send a picture, is a respectful substitute.

Such is this almost instant (dependent on your broadband speed) communication, which ultimately demands an instant response has opened doors, purchased products within seconds and puts brands in the face of the consumer instantly. It has also made finding people super easy, from Apps that show you the actual whereabouts a person is located at any given time (perfect if you are keeping tabs on your boyfriend – advises my daughter) Neither do you no longer need to use countless tactics to get around a shrewd Personal Assistant to get to the key contact, simply check them out on social media platforms, find the info email for the company, pre-fix their name and you’re in, contact made!

And whilst I am an enthusiastic fan of having it all at the touch of my finger-tips, there is something to be said for the one to one conversation where facial expression and body language tell you so much more. Just like the live interaction with a product or service before, during or after the purchasing decision.

Our ailing – high street is a great-example of ‘Impulse over Shopper experience’. You see, ultimately the big high street brands went into competition with themselves; their high street store v’s their online store.  I must confess I have strayed from the high-street in preference of quick fix purchases on-line.  So, are WE responsible for the demise of our high streets?  I think not. In search of big profits, the retailers went to war on-line, of monumental proportions’, boosting the warehousing and logistics industry no-end, which is no bad thing, but they are sitting up and taking notice of the decline in their footfall that they may compete on sales, but they are losing out big time on loyalty and more importantly that they can do something about it. Customers are looking for more than recognition points when they shop they want to enjoy the experience. Click and Collect, where customers buy online but collect in-store is going someway to bring the shopper back in-store.

The comeback has begun say hello to ‘Retailtainment’ indulgent shopping in store, where; see it, feel it, try it really does activate the senses, the realisation is that the high street is where the consumer experience is at its strongest. Take the re-birth of the make-up department, once the sales assistant’s behind their counters, offered a spray of the latest perfumes and a small range of testers to sample.

Gone are the small counters, acting as a barrier between the product and the customer. Trained Make-up consultants working from big open makeover stations, work their magic with their knowledgeable product demonstrations and complete make-overs, giving the consumer every opportunity to indulge; love, touch and feel the brand prior to purchase. The visit to the store becomes a pleasurable experience, add in the rise of the personnel shopper, on hand to guide you through the store, using their skill and experience to advise you on latest trends, style and colours that work for you, picking out pieces for you to try before you buy all in the comfort of your personnel changing room is indeed a perfect store brand activation.

The level and time of interaction of this level is no longer a service for the excessive spender.Take the shopper experiences above and add in the introduction of food and drink, giving the shopper space to relax, unwind and indeed time in store indulge and celebrate their purchases.  From a deli breakfast, to exceptional dining experiences to liquid refreshments that include champagne bars, the stores are working hard to ensure your experience is simply wonderful so much so, it may even become a pleasure to pay.

So, in summary, long live the art of the live shopping experience, shopping on the high street gets my vote but only in the stores that make every effort for me to LOVE the experience.Food for thought, what is it you are doing in your business to bring your products/services to life, how can people connect with your brand and experience in a live environment? How do you indulge & reward your customers?

Maybe it’s time to activate your Brand with live experiences.

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