Best practices for creating a compelling retail experience for your brand

Creating a compelling retail experience requires focus on the “experience.” The idea that retail is the place where you go to buy stuff is obsolete. The growth of e-commerce has changed the nature of shopping. In order to be relevant, retailers need to do more than stock the shelves with products.

“Today’s retail environment must be part great package design, part theatre, part family room, and part laboratory.”

Retail needs to transform itself into a place where consumers go to learn, be entertained, connect with others, share ideas or experiences, solve issues, try out new products, take advantage of special offers and more. Creating compelling and unique experiences will go a long way to help retail become once again the place where you buy stuff.

Retail extends well beyond the store.

Retail today extends far beyond the physical space into an ever-expanding digital world of mobile apps, social media channels and other online experiences. Retailers and brands that embrace the new way people communicate and share information have an opportunity to stimulate traffic, increase sales and improve the shopping experience.

There are many touch points, and they are all different.

In today’s complex marketing environment brands have to be everywhere and be consistent across all their customer touch points. Yet, they must leverage the potential of each touch point and take advantage of the experiences each can create for consumers. For example, in an online environment it is easy to set up comparisons with other products in a matrix where one can compare features and benefits. However, being able to hold the product in your hands or talk to a friendly and helpful sales person with expertise can be pulled off much better in a physical environment.

Not every customer is the same.

Personalization has replaced “one size fits all.” It’s no longer acceptable to treat every customer alike. People today have come to expect a customized experience in the store as much as online — with things like exclusive in-store coupons, personal experiences or recommendations targeted at a customer based on purchase history and preferences. Pre-searched is the new researched.

“Consumers have near-constant access to websites and smartphone apps that make it easy to research products, spot deals, compare prices, and ultimately make a purchase anywhere at anytime.”

Brands should make the in-store experience a continuation of the sales cycle the consumer started at home and in the digital space, focusing on creating additional opportunities for purchases through cross-selling and up-selling.

Make their in–store experience fluid and efficient.

Give your customer exactly what they need, quickly and efficiently by innovating new technology, such as interactive video screens that allow customers to pay by swiping their phone at the register or kiosks that connect customers to an extended brand experience online. Curate unique opportunities. Innovate and create new retail experiences such as live events and pop-up stores, develop proprietary content, and offer exclusive brand experiences and that can only be accessed in the retail centre but can also be enhanced and extended online and through other channels.