The 5 Elements Of Successful Experiential Retail

by Admin | June 23, 2018 | Experiential Retail

It seems like businesses finally figured out the e-commerce success formula: take curious window shoppers, convert them into customers, then fans, and eventually, loyal evangelists in love with your brand.

Now the rules have changed again and we’re in the new age of commerce where consumers treasure having experiences over acquiring processions. So, now businesses have to take retail one step further and invent ways to have their audience “experience” their brand if they want to survive.

In case you haven’t heard “experiential retail” has elevated shopping into *Retailtainment. We’re still in the buying and selling business although the new formula is a combination of shopping with entertainment to attract and engage customers.

Tougher than it sounds? Not if you put all the right elements together.

Even if you create an award-winning customer experience that can only mask a mediocre product for so long. So make sure your brand can live up to the experience hype. And since we’re knee-deep in the age of transparency, if you don’t present the good, the bad, and the ugly of your brand, consumers will be less likely to connect. Will airing your setbacks hurt your product? On the contrary, people love a good comeback story.

What this experience could look like–
How could experiential marketing fit into an effective product presentation? By offering consumers a full view of your product. For instance, if you were a shoe manufacturer, you could have an interactive product museum showing the history of your brand from its inception to modern day—with everything from touch-screens to tutorials to help tell their story. Take it up a notch and provide VR headsets that offer up a 360-degree angle of your product. Taking the gallery idea even further, you could take your audience on an auditory tour of your product using AR, which they could listen to on their smartphones while they’re in your store.

Give consumers a shopping experience they can’t get from the comfort of shopping at home. This demands new ideas and approaches and a mix of consistency with inventiveness. Like a love companion, people love a brand they can trust, but they also love to be surprised. How can those two ideas live side by side? The secret to giving the people what they want one minute then switching it up to give them what they didn’t know they were missing the next. This takes insightful data, great timing, and never-ending inventiveness.


What this experience could look like–
Say a customer walked into your clothing store and was met with digital signage offering deals of the day along with wardrobe recommendations. Or there could be a runway in the middle of your store where costumers could enjoy a fashion show accompanied by a live rock concert. Another scenario: curious buyers walk into a car showroom, and could order food that matched the locale of the car?  How does snacking on a pulled pork slider sound as you gaze at a Chevy truck sound?

When consumers feel like you remember them and personalize their experience they’ll be more likely to give their loyalty.  People love control, and new technologies allow users to quickly personalize their shopping experience.

What this experience could look like–
The minute customers entered your store they could automatically be signed into their account where they’d be able to view and customize their purchasing profile. Retailers could recommend items or experiences based on a customer’s personal preferences. Going even further, retailers could implement options that allow customers to create and customize product pages where they could save the items that they liked.

Not only should the technology you provide be consumer friendly, but it should also play well with others.  Have you tested your technology to make sure it works well with the devices your audience is using? And, while it’s true that we’ve been focusing on technology, it’s important to plan on creating an experience for that segment of the populace that rejects all this new-fangled tech.

What this experience could look like–
When creating your experiential retail experience, it’s all right to let your mind roam free and let the concepts fly but make sure that it’s all connected. For instance, say you’re a retailer dealing in sound equipment; you could have a DJ or a live band playing in your store when costumers entered. Or take things up a notch and have Virtual Reality (VR) headsets around your store, which would take consumers on a virtual trip around the world to match the auditory soundtrack that was being provided in the background.

Most get caught up in technological advancements and lose the human element.  Touch screens, in-store kiosks, digital signage, and beacons are well and good, but they won’t make you any more memorable if you don’t put your customer first and foremost in your mind. Ask yourself: “what do they want, like, need, and desire?”

What this experience could look like–
Here’s where social media comes into play. Have every interaction with your customers be personal and customizable. This could mean you remember their social media channels. Give them the tools to personalize their experience at every turn: filters, emojis, or the ability to rate and leave comments before, during and after their time in your store. Ever thought of inviting customers to do a live stream from your store? Now you have.

Digital Light Experiential
By Canvas Media


Increasing your store’s foot traffic is critical in this modern era of online shopping and interactive experiences. Experiential retail invites businesses to become places for one-of-a-kind engagement opportunities rather than places to buy. We encourage you to work with a trusted partner who can help you bring together a strategic combination of interactive and space design combined with social marketing to help attract and engage customers with your brand.

* “Retailtainment coined by author George Ritzer, in his book “Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption” (1999). Definition: A commercially-designed experience that combines entertainment and retail.


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