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It’s no secret that the retail world is in trouble. From Pier One to Gap, thousands of brick-and-mortar stores are closing, and even the famed Barney’s has filed for bankruptcy. However, there are plenty of brands that are surviving — and even thriving thanks to experiential retail.

What Sets Successful Brands Apart

In today’s changing retail landscape, the integration of experiential retail is keeping brands relevant. This strategy focuses on providing immersive experiences for customers that allow them to interact with products and the brand through various touchpoints.  And customer engagement, not numerical sales, is the focus. When stores execute experiential retail successfully, their customers will experience a personalized, sensory-rich journey — rather than the expected shelf-to-cash-register path. As a result, customers walk away with a positive and memorable impression of the brand, and it’s that impression that keeps them coming back for more.

Experience Trumps Expectations

Retailers can take tips from quite a few brands that have been very successful with experiential retail:

  • At Casper’s store in New York, known as The Dreamery, customers can nap in a futuristic room outfitted with enormous, spherical private sleeping pods. And of course, they are all outfitted with Casper sheets, pillows, and mattresses.
  • Lush, a cosmetics retailer, is known for having stellar retail staff who are trained to recognize, target, and interact with customers based on their browsing behavior.  This level of service creates a highly personalized experience, and the on-the-spot product demonstrations are top-notch.
  • Following the path of one of their biggest competitors, technology giant Samsung launched experiential stores in Houston, Los Angeles, Long Island, and Palo Alto in 2019.  The stores give customers the chance to preview and try out products and technology, as well as receive customer support and onsite repair services.
  • In Nike’s House of Innovation experiential store in NYC, customers can take their shoes for a spin on the onsite basketball court, enclosed soccer area, or on a treadmill surrounded by screens to simulate outdoor running.  The massive, five-story store offers unique and immersive experiences on every floor to help guide customers through their shopping journey.

Even brands that typically utilize e-commerce have seen the value of experiential retail. For example, the online cosmetics brand Glossier has a highly successful flagship store. It’s so popular that customers will wait in line just to get into the store so that they have the opportunity to experience the brand face-fo-face – even though they can easily buy products online.  Why?  Because they know that as soon as they walk through the doors they will be treated to highly interactive and engaging experiences along with personalized recommendations from Glossier’s experiential retail staff.

A Trend to Follow

It’s no coincidence that these brands are rising to the top of the retail market. They’re utilizing the exclusivity, authenticity, and personalization that you find in experiential marketing. From providing interactive elements to having experienced product specialists on hand, retailers should take steps to ensure they provide an amazing in-store experience that resonates with customers and keeps them coming back.

Whether you’re hosting a retail pop-up shop or an in-store experience, ATN is your one-stop resource for your experiential retail event staffing needs.  Click here to learn more about our retail event staffing services.

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