Why Retailers Need To Bring Experiential Marketing To Their Stores

Experiential marketing continues to be on everyone’s radar in 2018. Retail brands across the globe (79%) say they will execute more experiential programs this year compared to last year, and allocate more money into crafting personalized, creative retail experiences for their consumers. These experiences go beyond establishing retail brand loyalty and evoking a positive experience, the custom experiences are huge financial wins for brands and can drive consumers back into retail stores where both consumers and businesses gain major benefits.

Benefits of Getting Customers Back To Your Store

  • The ability to engage with the consumer
  • Cross-sell additional products
  • Get free advertising – 34% of consumers surveyed said they would post about an experience on social media
  • Collect email addresses with an iPad
  • Get product feedback
  • Better project sales due to lower return rates

With these benefits for retail stores, the challenge becomes; how to bring consumers back into the store and get them to fall in love with shopping in-store as much as shopping online. With close to a 5:1 ROI this is where experiential marketing may be able to help.

Why Should Retails Stores Use Experiential Marketing

Experiential marketing in retail stores is more important than ever. A face-to-face interaction with consumers has the potential to increase your sales and social media engagement exponentially.

Ad Blockers On The Rise Makes Traditional Ads Even Less Effective

In 2017, it was estimated that nearly one-third of all Internet users would be using some type of ad blocker. Traditional forms of online advertising may become even more problematic in the coming years; therefore, businesses must be forward thinking in their marketing approaches.

When you give a user the opportunity to participate in an activity or event rather than to simply try to convince them through words or a video, they are far more likely to come to your store to check it out. Once they make the decision to come, they are far more likely to participate and 34 percent will share their experience on social media.

Build A Relationship Beyond The Sale

Experiential marketing in retail stores has the ability to reach engage consumers’ connection senses that trigger an emotional experience and memory development. This is the perfect storm of building brand loyalty by establishing relationships. Successful companies realize the importance of making a shift to experiential retail marketing to focus on the relationships so much that The Freeman Global Brand Experience study revealed that one-third of CMOs will dedicate up to 50 percent of their budgets on experiential marketing over the next five years.

Increase Engagement and Attention On Your Brand

The attention span of a human is currently eight seconds, according to a study conducted by Microsoft Corp., which is less than that of a goldfish. You have critical seconds to catch and retain the attention of your audience.

Consumers are willing to spend much more time with an interactive experience than browsing around the Internet. And, you will create a direct connection that makes the consumer more likely to purchase your product or service. Basically, the more time a potential customer spends directly engaging with your brand the more likely they are to become a user.

Brick and Mortar

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While the death of brick and mortar retailers is not imminent, it is being heavily streamlined in all markets and industry types. Fashion-centered retail businesses alone closed nearly 2,000 stores in 2017. Despite the benefits of online shopping, many people still prefer to see, touch and try products and services before they buy. If you host an experiential marketing event, you are will develop connections that will ensure consumers return to your store again and again. In fact, according to Statista, 79 percent of marketers generate sales by utilizing event marketing.

Originality and Brand Differentiation

Another essential component of marketing today is to be able to provide an original experience that will differentiate your brand from the competition. William Sonoma, for example, provides samples of food items made with products they sell, and they also provide classes to teach people how to use their products.

In some classes, you leave with a William Sonoma-brand cookbook and others will give you the product to take home. These classes engage the consumer directly with a professional chef, as well as allow the consumer to ask as many questions as they like until they are confident with their final purchase. Direct competition nearby or even in the same shopping center may exist, however most do not provide these experiential marketing opportunities that helps William Sonoma secure a larger and more loyal client base. And, according to EventTrack, 33 percent of individuals who participate in experiential marketing will take videos or photos throughout the event to share on social media.

Invaluable Product Feedback

You can save thousands of dollars by gathering feedback directly from consumers at an experiential marketing event. Be sure to have brand ambassadors on site who will learn the most common questions and concerns about the product or service in person rather than to waste countless hours trying to get people to respond to surveys or questionnaires.

You can also eliminate any misconceptions that may be circulating throughout social media, interpret reactions immediately and establish trust through one-on-one contact that will lead to brand loyalty and publicly shared experiences.

Target Millennials With Experiential Marketing

Eventbrite conducted a detailed study, through a third party, pertaining to experiential marketing and the massive millennial marketplace. Here are their findings:

  • 78% prefer to spend money on an event or experience rather than a physical item.
  • 82% attended several experiential events last year.
  • 72% plan to spend more on experiences over physical items next year.

Millennials are proving that experiential marketing is essential for any business to be successful in the future. They might possibly be the most influential demographic at this time, therefore it is best to keep your eyes and ears open to the way they prefer to interact with brands.

The Best Experiential Marketing Success Story

The success stories of experiential marketing are nearly endless, however one of the best was executed by Guinness. They took to the bars dressed as a Guinness flight crew offering prizes on the spot for anyone who bought a pint of Guinness. With each purchase, the consumer shook a tablet for the chance to win a number of prizes including the grand prize of a trip to Dublin on a private jet with four friends. This experience was shared widely on social media, drew in more crowds to the bars they visited and improved their brand image by associating Guinness with private jets.

You do not need to offer a trip on a private jet to make your experiential marketing campaign a great success, however you do need to offer something unique, engaging and shareable on social media. The millennials have spoken and the data backs up the claims that retail stores need to use experiential marketing to improve their conversions and to increase brand loyalty.

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