In-store theatre: the future of retail

Boost the in-store customer experience with digital transformation.

We’re entering the era of experience. As MarTech Today recently reported, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator, overtaking price and product by 2020.

But how can retailers revolutionise customer experience? Many have embarked on digital marketing to boost their online presence, but they’re often neglecting their in-store experience.

Writing for Campaign, Ladbrokes’ former chief customer officer, Kristof Fahy, warns that brands need to realise consumers only have one experience of their brand. Marketers may see their different channels as separate touchpoints, but consumers view them all as one single brand interaction. So, if you’ve abandoned or overlooked your bricks-and-mortar stores in favour of the online world, you could end up damaging the consistency of your brand.

Innovative tech, creativity and brand consistency are all ways in which brands can transform the in-store experience to one that’s relevant and engaging. To bridge the gap between your store’s online presence and its in-store environment, Forbes recommends implementing the following tactics.

 

 

Make it fun

Who said the bricks-and-mortar store experience can’t be fun? Surely the in-store interactions customers have with your brand are just as, if not more, important than the ones happening online?

Draw people into your store with games using location-based technology, such as a scavenger hunt that invites consumers to play along. You could even reward those who complete the game. It’s all about standing out and being memorable, for all the right reasons.

 

 

Blur boundaries with in-store screens

Adding screens to the store can help you remind customers about your online presence, and provide you with an opportunity to share immersive content with in-store shoppers.

You could also look into more creative uses of the screens. As CMO notes, Nike takes in-store engagement to a whole new level in its Nike+ Basketball Trial Zone and Nike+ Running Trial Zone at the company’s SoHo store.

Shoppers can test out basketball products on a half court surrounded by screens depicting iconic New York basketball courts. Meanwhile, runners can test shoes on a treadmill, in front of screens showing Central Park or the West Side Highway. With two cameras, customers are shown real-time, on-screen feedback.

 

 

Create Instagram moments

There’s no denying the power of Instagram. So why not create physical places in your stores that customers will want to take a photo of? Not only will it provide you with free marketing, it will also increase customer engagement.

Get creative and think about innovative ways to design spaces, whether in front of a cool mannequin, fountain or a sign – just make sure it’s in keeping with your brand. If you’re an outdoor sportswear shop, it probably won’t make sense to stick an oversized Alice in Wonderland style chair in your store.

 

 

Create in-store social interactions

Remember, your in-store customers will also be engaging with you online. That’s a given, so there’s no need to keep the two channels separate. Stores are another way for brands to tell stories, and what better way to do this than with user-generated content?

From in-store contests to promotions, these hyperconnected shoppers are great for creating meaningful engagement. And don’t forget to share all the fun on your social media channels!

We may live in a digital world, but don’t neglect your in-store experience. Consumers see all these different touchpoints as one single interaction with your brand, so make sure their experience is a good one.

See how Linney can help you revolutionise your in-store customer experience – get in touch today.