27 August 2020

The importance of experiential in retail

By Vicky Sherwood


The experiential model aims to drive traffic to a shop or destination with the intention to extend the consumer’s dwell time. Creating experiences for consumers enables them to not only immerse themselves in and engage with a brand, but it also creates positive memories of an enjoyable tangible experience.

Before the arrival of COVID-19, physical experiences were an important marketing tool, with brands deploying tactics such as pop-ups that immerse shoppers in a brand’s vision, giving consumers an even more hands-on experience. Initially, it seemed like we were all heading down a virtual rabbit hole at the beginning of lockdown, but this was only because technology was our sole source of contact. It’s clear that some of this behaviour has stuck - COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way in which consumers shop and interact with brands, moving from face-to-face interactions to an interface, but it seems both are here to stay!

If quarantine has taught me anything, it’s that nothing compares to the importance of real-life connections with family and friends. Although marketing teams have had to adapt to creating online virtual experiences for their customers during lockdown, could it mean there is a pent-up appetite for real interactions, genuine connections and experiences as we emerge from lockdown?

With the sense of belonging and local community experiences provide, Marketeers alike will need to ensure they’re reimagining brand activation's and experiences to ensure they’re following social distancing and other COVID-19 regulations. Not only this, bold thinking and creative solutions will be needed as new regulations define social interaction. After all, you want your customers to come away from the experience confident that you will keep them safe and leave with that lasting positive memory.

Creating a memorable experience has become an effective differentiator in consumer choice with "87% of people saying they would pay for an experience for a premium product¹". Retailers must create memorable brand experiences that add value to the customer journey enticing them into purchasing and sharing their experience with others. Read our recent blog on our favourite activations by our Experiential Senior Account Manager, Naomi.

All that said, an experiential model could have the ability to streamline the customer journey by shipping products directly to consumers rather than stocking them in a shop. This would allow shop assistants to spend more time helping customers rather than unpacking boxes and therefore provide a more personal approach.

We have helped brands deliver amazing experiences for their customers.  We would love to speak to you to see how we can help you too. Please get in touch on +44 (0) 1628 625900 or [email protected]

¹ The Retail Experience Economy: The Behavioural Revolution

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