Store-based retailers can create a memorable, entertaining, learning experience much better than any e-commerce based retailer can. Regardless of whether the store-based retailer is a brand store, a department store, or a grocery store, making the shopping trip more of an experience than a chore is an idea that should be leveraged.
How are retailers leveraging the idea of Retailtainment to boost in-store traffic?
Disney Stores are more of a continuation of its movies than a typical store-based retail shopping experience. The idea behind the newly-redesigned stores is to be less of a shopping experience, and more of an opportunity for consumers to escape from their everyday lives and enter a magical wonderland.
“My favorite thing about Disney stores worldwide is the people. I love traveling around the world and talking to the committed, talented, enthusiastic, and passionate cast members that you meet everywhere,” says Jim Felding, President of Disney Stores Worldwide.
The goal is to get customers to leave the store and say things like: “Remember the time when..” “Have you ever been to..” “Have you seen..”
Loblaws new flagship store in Toronto, Canada allows its customers to sign up for informational cooking sessions. Though Loblaws has offered cooking classes since 2004, the flagship store has a large department devoted to the classes. The retailer uses the cooking classes to draw customers into the stores, and to educate them in healthy meal options. The instructors then suggest ingredients available for purchase in-store.
Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops creates a complete shopping experience through seasonal events like Santa’s Wonderland, and the more permanent Outdoor World.
Santa’s Wonderland (left) is a display set up for the holiday season. Parents can bring their children to the store to meet Santa Claus.
Perhaps more interesting, though, are the merchandising initiatives found in the Outdoor World stores. The stores are best known for offering hunting, fishing, camping, and marine products. Customers are immersed into a use-case environment that is more like a museum, art center, and education destination. Fixturing mirrors the environment in which its products will be used. Specifically, the highly visual and elaborate displays appeal directly to the target demographic.
Up to 45% of Cabela’s store space is devoted to entertainment features and displays. The stores feature everything from aquariums, to extensive taxidermy wildlife exhibits, to shooting galleries.
Couples go shopping together, the wife wants to browse, and the husband wants to sit. Well, IKEA’s trial in one of its Australian stores embraces this concept. The thought is a continuation of the stereotype that women prefer to shop more than men, and that men usually get bored quickly and pull the women out of the store before they are ready to leave.
By including a MANLAND in the front-end of the store, men can keep entertained until the wives/girlfriends/mothers are satisfied. But the big idea here is that the longer the couple is in the store, the more chance there is that impulse purchases will increase.
Lululemon drives people into its stores by hosting weekly yoga classes in its stores. The aspirational athletic apparel retailer clears its store of all merchandise on a weekly basis to offer complimentary yoga classes. The idea is to drive traffic into its stores to drive impulse sales, boost the brand image, and to give back to the community.
Lululemon takes the ‘retailtainment’ concept beyond store-based retail, too! Yoga beginners can visit the Lululemon website and watch a twenty-minute yoga tutorial video.
Best Buy invites up-and-coming musicians to perform on-stage in-store. The LIVE @ Best Buy program provides artists from all genres and experience levels an opportunity to play on Best Buy stages in New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston. Select performances are streamed live online to a global audience.
The LIVE @ Best Buy program is both a marketing strategy designed to show Best Buy giving back to the community, as well as a way to drive people into the stores to watch the performances in the hopes that they either buy something in the store, or they become more aware of the products available there.
Other interesting strategies used by Best Buy include interaction with next generation technology in-store, and video game demos.
You will certainly notice from the entrance that there is an IMAX theatre within Jordan’s furniture stores in the Northeastern USA . However once you are inside the giant furniture store you’ll have to look for the IMAX: the entrance to the theatre is in the rear of the 100,000 square foot stores.
Customers must meander through the entire store in order to reach the theatre. However, the IMAX theatres help to transform the retail stores into destinations. People who have seen movies on the IMAX screens in a Jordan’s furniture store have a very good idea about the assortment available there. So, while furniture is not the first example of an impulse item that comes to mind, the memory of the store remains in visitors’ minds until the time comes to buy their next couch.
Brookstone is the specialty retailer of innovative electronic gift ideas. The stores, which are typically found in malls, allow shoppers to come in and relax in comfortable massaging chairs. Not only do the chairs draw customers into the stores, but they keep them there to the point that their determined shopping companions come into the store to pick them up.
When the goal is to find gift ideas for the holiday season, Brookstone wins by offering the opportunity to relax.
Candylicious, operator of the world’s largest candy-stores, draws shoppers into its 10,000-square-foot stores by offering the opportunity to get free candy! During RetailNet Group’s visit to the Dubai Mall in the UAE, we noticed that there were over a dozen people standing in line for a chance to grab some fake money in this air capsule. The candy-dollars can be redeemed within the store for any pay-by-pound candy treats.
Note: This is not as easy as it looks…
What do YOU think?
As a consumer, which of these examples would get you to make a trip to a store you otherwise would not have visited?
As a retailer, which of these examples do you think would result in both an increase in product/services awareness, and an increase in impulse purchases?