Over the past several years, retailers have seen a significant growth in the importance of customer engagement and in-store experience.
Retailers across business segments and geographic areas have now been taking this a step further to expand experiential offerings outside of their larger flagship locations by trying to scale these across their other locations. This would ensure larger customers are receiving this same customer engagement, while also driving traffic and increasing sales at additional locations.
Retailers like Levi’s and L’Occitane are trying to include personalized customer experiences at their locations. Levi’s has launched custom tailoring and clothing personalization services. L’Occitane has launched “Escape to Provence” which includes mini spa treatments, VR headsets, lavender perfume mists and even a hand massage! [i]
Image via Bloomberg
All of these experiences have one thing in common… they can only be found in brick-and-mortar. If only lavender mists/hand massages were offered in an eCommerce experience! With the incessant reminder from every industry blog between 2017-now that Brick and Mortar retail is dying along with technology constantly evolving and enhancing the shopping experience with every breath we take, it’s no wonder these retailers are doing everything they can to even the playing field. What is the one thing that brick and mortar retailers can offer consumers that cannot be consumed digitally? Experiences. (For now, at least.) With these smaller more meaningful experiences, retailers can have these experiences replicated across store locations.
Robyn Novak, Vice President and Managing Creative Director of FRCH Nelson said, “Micro-experiences are in-store, physical experiences, not online or digital. They need to be authentic to the brand, something the brand can deliver in a store in a unique way. The micro-experience should also augment the core transaction of the store and be a revenue generator. It should be something that is scalable to numerous locations.” [i]
Image via Bloomberg
“22.8% of consumers have said they would shop more if stores provided unique experiences, and more than two-thirds, 68.9%, said a good in-store experience is important or very important to them,” according to the State of Consumer Behavior 2020 report by Raydiant. [i] These numbers just go to show that physical retail stores have remained relevant for a very important reason, and this reason is 100% because of the needs of the average consumer. We like to actually see with our own eyes what a brand is all about. We like to touch the products, experience the store and the brand.
The Harris Group even found 72% of millennials prefer spending money on experiences versus purely material goods, highlighting this trend to focus on micro-experiences. [iii]
With numbers like these, the experiences speak for themselves! It’s understandable why more and more retailers are hopping on the bandwagon to differentiate themselves for their customers. Companies like CoverGirl and Tiffany are also developing their own micro-experiences. CoverGirl offers augmented reality glam mirrors at its flagship store where customers can virtually try on a variety of makeup products. Typically, flagships draw a lot of media attention due to the in-your-face new features and experiences offered however, Novak says, “What resonates with shoppers are the micro-experiences within stores.” [i]
The iconic “skater” shoe brand, Vans, has a special in-store experience called House of Vans. The space offers a solid platform for the local communities to experience and engage with Vans’ ‘Off The Wall’ spirit. [v] This House of Vans is a 30,000 sq. ft. legendary space for young people to meet, socialize, get inspired, and stay loyal to their favorite brand: Vans. [iv]
“It’s a place where imagination lets loose over concrete bowls, art installations, workshops and concert stages, inspiring every person who runs, rolls, or stomps through its door. Located in Brooklyn, New York and Waterloo, London, as well as pop-ups around the world, the House of Vans is home to the creativity that moves us.” [v]
Image via Skateparks
Tiffany, the iconic brand, is one that is well known for its high-end jewelry as well as its retail experience. In 2018, however, the brand opened a brand-new store, “The Style Studio” to bring a more relatable and fun approach to the masses. The new store focused on the customer experience. The studio sells the brand’s ‘everyday items’ range, which is a mix of homeware and accessories. This is designed to engage customers who want to spend less, but still get their hands on the luxury brand. Decorated in its famous duck egg blue, the store is designed to be interactive, as well as appeal to a younger generation with its highly Instagrammable interior. [ii]
With brick and mortar in a period of drastic experiential growth, we are thrilled to learn about the new innovations and micro-experiences that are coming to the table. Why? Because we can help partner with these various retailers to provide to the success of these experiences! Each of these experiences comes with their own electrical challenges and installation requirements – that’s where Rogers steps in! Head on over to our website to see exactly what kind of micro-experiences we’ve done for big names like Best Buy and Home Depot.