Interaction is becoming more important in a brick and mortar store since these can be real competing factors when compared with online shopping. To create a great retail experience a customer should feel like they are able to interact with your brand as well as be inspired. A great way to inspire your customers and help them visualize themselves using your products is by having iPads around the store playing videos or having a slideshow of photos with inspiring lifestyle imagery. Ipads can also be used add value to your merchandise to use as interactive displays to explain valuable information about your products and the story behind them which will sway your customers buying decisions in a positive direction. These kinds of elements will set you apart and will leave a lasting positive memory about the retail experience your customer had.
An inactive experience does not always have to utilize technology, this can also be done by offering services in the store or having the sales staff that are catering to your customers in a way that leaves them feeling connected on a personal level and well taken care of. A great way to way to connect with your customers is by offering them free water, tea, and coffee which will help them feel more at ease and will encourage them to spend more time in your store.
The goal is to create a memorable retail experience that your customers will not forget and will have them feeling a sense of community, inspiration, and admiration for your brand. Shopping in your store should make them feel like they have joined a tribe and discovered a space which they feel they have a personal connection with.
Targeting at least two of these senses in order to connect with your customers at an emotional level is called sensory branding. It is a type of retail marketing that applies to senses in relation to your brand. Creating your desired retail experience utilizing the different senses allows you to generate certain beliefs, feelings, opinions, and thoughts just by using a multi-sensory brand experience.
Retail Experience Examples
The Starbucks experience is known to be familiar and comfortable. They achieve this by not only focusing on the taste sense but also on sound, smell and feel. The smell that fills the air in Starbucks is not only of coffee beans but it is mixed with a perfume as well. Then there is the music which is always playing soothing relaxing coffee house tunes. Touch comes into play when considering the comfortable couches and chairs they have available to make for a cozy environment. Lastly and most importantly they manage to achieve the same feeling throughout all of their locations which convey a sense of home and part of a tribe feeling.
Apple really focuses on the interaction part of the sense since customers are able to see, touch, listen, and experience Apple products, and get a feeling of what the apple lifestyle is all about. They also do a great job of providing a lot of information about the products which allow you to also learn more about the brand and build up a trust.
Abercrombie & Fitch
The retail experience created by Abercrombie utilizes many of our sense in a dramatic way such as; scent, lighting, visuals, and sound. Their scent is one of the things that stands out most to customers since you can often already smell a store a block away. Then there is the music which is catering to their young clientele, playing popular loud club music which is very upbeat and loud creating an energetic feeling and literally causes your heart rate to rise which increases your physiological arousal as well. This overstimulation leads to impulse purchases. The lighting, on the other hand, is balancing it out since it is dimmed and only having spotlights to highlight certain displays and elements. Visually they market beautiful people which they assume their customers strive to look like.