Are experiential retail and social media a primary focus for your retail strategy?
Creating an experiential retail space that encourages social media interaction and user generated content should be part of most retailers’ strategy.
It is no longer enough just to be in the right location at the right shopping centre. Or to have ‘The Product’ that everyone wants. As a retailer, you need all that and much more. You need to offer something memorable, an experience that will live long in the memory of your customer and on Instagram and other social media as well.
HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF
The concept of experiential retail isn’t a new one. We can look back in time to see plenty of history making examples of experiential retail. A pioneer of his time was Harry Selfridge in 1909. He brought the experience, excitement and the glamour of the theatre to Oxford Street at the opening of Selfridges. Mr Selfridge truly understood the meaning of “retailment”!! And all before social media. One can only imagine the amplification that this opening spectacle would have generated should it have been in the era of social media.
By 2020, millennials annual spending is projected to reach $1.4 trillion in the US. Millennials spend will account for 30% of total retail sales. Despite this, spending on clothing has declined by 20% this century, while spending on travel, hotels, and restaurants and bars is growing rapidly. Millennials and Gen Z gravitate towards experiences. They demand experiences that they can share to their social media.
To reflect this desire for experiences, retail spaces and pop up stores need to be designed for the carefully curated social media age. If your customers don’t want to take photographs in your store, they’re simply not talking about you. Your retail strategy needs to make sure they are talking about you.
“Brands and organisations want to take advantage of the fact that consumers are sharing more photos today than ever before,” said Jane Fisher, director of specialty retail at research firm L2.
While it isn’t new, experiential retail and creating instagrammable spaces is trending and gaining momentum in the retail sector. Retailers have to look at creative ways to reintroduce foot traffic into their bricks and mortar stores. Consumers are driven by the influence of social media and the “share / like” culture it’s created.
Retailers need to adapt to the digital age. Even ecommerce platform Shopfiy now encourages their online customers to have an inspirational instagrammable retail space to draw in foot traffic.
Experiences that can be shared across social media help brands forge emotional connections with their customers and their like-minded friends and followers. Macy’s in New York has taken a cue from Instagrammable phenomenons like the Museum of Ice Cream and Rosé Mansion in New York by recently launching a new pop-up concept designed to increase foot traffic.
Another notable retailer who is blurring the lines of retail and entertainment is Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster. Every Gentle Monster store is unique (not just in appearance but also each store has its own fragrance and soundtrack – appealing to all the senses) and rather than being designed to look like stores, the spaces evoke contemporary art galleries with the eyewear displayed among the themed installations.
People are more likely to visit the space to see the designs and take photos (and share the photos on social media) than they are to just shop. Because the installations and displays change regularly customers continuously have reasons to return.
Experiences that can be shared across social media help brands forge emotional connections with their customers and their like-minded friends and followers. Macy’s in New York has taken a cue from Instagrammable phenomenons like the Museum of Ice Cream