The growing number of online shoppers have dramatically increased over the years. While this phenomenon gave ecommerce platforms a major boost, the effect on physical stores was unsatisfactory. With this, retail shops experienced a huge decline of customers. This 2019, how can you step up?
Have you heard of experiential shopping? If you haven’t yet, it’s about offering an attractive shopping experience that is capable of meeting in-store customers’ latent sensorial, emotional and psychological expectations. Basically, its focus is customer experience and making their shopping time worthwhile. It’s not just about seeing the beauty of products anymore, it’s also about feeling them.
Some entrepreneurs have an impression that going for this direction is expensive, and that’s both true and false. It’s true in a sense that if you decide to use either AI (artificial intelligence), AR (augmented reality), or any form of technology, it can really cost a lot of money. But if you use the resources that you already have and start curating something creative out of it for your customers, then you can prove that the mindset of experiential retail being expensive is false.
Need some inspiration? Here are creative ways on how you can generate more sales with experiential shopping:
Most likely to leverage this tactic: book stores, art supplies stores, boutique shops, cafes
Art is a part of our daily lives, and it evokes an emotional response from people. If you have art installation in your physical store, you can guarantee that customers will come in. One good example would be Kubrick Bookshop Cafe in HK.
Once you enter the store, you will be welcomed with different stacks of books. When you look around, you will see artworks posted on their walls. For bookworms and artists, this is a treat! While Kubrick is a fusion of a bookstore and a coffee shop, it’s still not going to be as successful as it is now without design and art.
Majority of bookstores tend to be boring and bland, so setting up your books uniquely and adding art installation at your store can definitely spice up your game. In general, customers now not only go to stores to buy stuff, they also take photos and curate content for their social media.
What’s in it for you? Well, art can be used as a way of communicating to your customers. It sets the impression and shows your brand image. If done right, you can attract more people to patronize your business.
Free Makeover + Photoshoot
Most likely to leverage this tactic: make-up/beauty businesses, beauty stores in malls, retail stores, clothing shops, salons
Free makeover and photoshoot? Who will not love that?
Anything that is free will surely be a hit, especially to the majority of customers. But of course, there has to be a limit. For businesses in the beauty industry, you can set up a free makeup booth in your store, invite customers (limit to at least 3-5 per day) and take photos of them.
Afterwards, post the photos on your business social media accounts. You can also ask the customer to post them on their accounts and tag your business page. This is one good marketing tactic that you should definitely take advantage!
If you’re from the fashion or retail industry, you can also do the same. But instead of free make-up, you can do a dressup makeover. It’s up to you if the clothes are for free, too!
The Feel-At-Home Strategy
Most likely to leverage this tactic: Boutique shops, shops that sells second-hand items, retail stores, furniture stores, lifestyle shops
It’s important for customers to feel at home whenever they enter a store. But no, it’s not just about greeting them anymore, this time we’ll take it literally. If you’re a business that sells furniture or any type of home products, why not let your customers experience them?
IKEA’s experiential strategy was definitely something that upcoming businesses should take inspiration from. In order for their customers to have a full-on experience with the beds they are selling, they invited over 100 fans to spend the night in the warehouse in Essex.
The overall experience was proven to be successful as it was a unique and clever way to get fans to focus on what IKEA has to offer and actually try it out for themselves.
Tip: If it’s not feasible to do what IKEA did, you may choose to just let your customers feel your products. Most shops don’t do this, but how will the customers know how comfortable it is to sleep on the bed you are selling? How will they know if the chair you are selling is durable? Again, it’s all about making the customers feel things.
In the end, it’s all about the overall experience of the customers. So it’s really best to give your 100%! We always say that there is no perfect formula with generating sales, and that’s true. As a business owner or marketer, you only need to let your creative juices come out, and have them produce wonders for your business.
Remember, creativity is what’s going to cultivate the experience for the people, and it’s also what’s going to keep your business alive.