Experiential Shopping

Adding Dimension to Retail through Experiential Shopping

by Shany Seawright

Shoppers today are heavily influenced by emotion. This is why commercials that tug at the heartstrings (who knew a commercial for paper could make you ugly cry) or make you literally LOL (we all remember this gem and still quote it every HUMP DAY) are the ones that stick with us.

It’s why we are more inclined to purchase products from companies that are more aligned with our values.

Igniting that emotion is a powerful approach for retailers and is fueling the experiential shopping sensation. Who wants to just go into a store, find what they need, and then get out of there? No, we want ambience. We want an experience about which we can tell our friends, family, and social channels.

This week’s Retail News Roundup looks at companies that are hitting the experiential shopping game out of the park. These industry leaders are using emotion and experience to pave the way into customers’ hearts (and their wallets). Check out some of our favorites:

Your Next Favorite Brunch Spot Could be … Your Bank

Frankly, if you find yourself having to actually go inside a branch of your bank, it’s probably not a good thing. There’s normally some sort of account confusion you have to work out or maybe – heaven forbid – the ATM is broken. Everyone just banks online now, that’s the truth of it. But Deutsche Bank is looking to turn that sentiment on its head and attract consumers with a more appealing banking experience.

As recently report on a Marketplace podcast with Kai Ryssdal, an experimental Deutsche Bank branch in Berlin is functioning as a pleasant café in addition to a traditional bank branch, and they are offering decent food there according to a patron who works nearby. The branch even boasts a co-working space along with a small kids’ corner and a gallery exhibition space.

While many of these customers don’t visit the branch to bank at all, the concept hinged on experiential shopping unrelated to banking has definitely given people a different perspective on Deutsche Bank and maybe even banking in general. This definitely points to an evolving image of bank branches of the future and a desire to connect with customers on a more personal level.

Listen to the whole story here.

Finally, You Can Have Breakfast at Tiffany

The movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” holds a dear place in many hearts and has stood the test of time as a piece of iconic cinema. Generational differences aside, Audrey Hepburn fans often adore this film and find something about Holly Golightly’s character so enchanting.

So, of course, creating a restaurant that makes actually eating breakfast at Tiffany & Co. possible is the perfect opportunity to engage with this massive fan base. The novelty of it alone will draw in noticeable foot traffic for at least a little while in the cut-throat New York City restaurant industry.

John Dorman of the New York Times reported about the Blue Box Café, located on the 4th floor of the Tiffany & Co. New York flagship store at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street. Dorman points out the importance of this experience that Tiffany & Co. is fostering in his article: “With many traditional retailers losing customers at their brick and mortar locations to online competitors, there has been an increased focus on cultivating experiences for shoppers.”

With Tiffany & Co. being world-renowned for its high-end experience, it’s no surprise that they were able to add even more charm and decadence to their brand through an experiential shopping option. Something tells me that the added foot traffic in their store won’t hurt revenue numbers either.

Read the whole story here.

Advice for Walmart: 20,000 Holiday Parties is a Good Start

Walmart is at it again – thinking of shiny, new ways to engage with customers, but this time it’s not as tech focused, but more experiential. Walmart has long been a one-stop shop for holiday preparation with massive displays and lights as far as the eye can see. But this year, Walmart is taking it a step further by promising 20,000 (that’s not a typo) parties in their Supercenters throughout the holiday season.

A recent article on Forbes by George Anderson sang the praises of this concept from retail industry thought leaders. “This is really an amazing turn of events and change of strategy for Walmart,” wrote Ricardo Belmar, senior director of worldwide enterprise product marketing at InfoVista. “A brilliant move towards a more experiential retail model. Walmart has the scale and resources advantage that other retailers can’t match.”

This strategy is certainly a smart way to bring in even more foot traffic than normal for the holiday season into Supercenters and creates a more full-bodied holiday experience for customers. We’re excited to see how the avalanche of holiday parties affects holiday revenue for the retailing goliath.

Read the whole story here.

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