Although we’re constantly told the contrary, the truth is that consumers still love shopping and still shop in physical stores.
Why? It’s an experience. It’s now retail theater.
This is how they started the trend.
To complete the sensory experience, blur industry lines
You are surrounded with sensory stimulation when you shop in physical stores. The smells, the looks, and the sounds from the store all provide you with sensory stimulation. When food and drink are added to the mix, it’s sensory perfection. This is something Amazon will never be capable of offering online.
For years, cafes and restaurants have been found within the vast expanses of departmental stores. They’ve been an integral part of the shopping experience, but they have always been somewhat separate. A coffee would be served, and you could then shop or make a purchase. Then, you’d sit down and eat lunch at a restaurant that might as well have been in a separate shopping center.
Shopping is now more about eating, drinking, and being merry.
One standalone Lord & Taylor in a Connecticut suburb has dedicated part of its parking lot to a food truck court. A few food trucks set up shop outside the store’s entrances every day for lunch and dinner. This creates a fun and fashionable food and fashion destination. The best part is that the department store doesn’t have to pay anything – they can now offer a rotating selection of trendy food.
Other brands are also focusing on the restaurant experience. Todd Snyder, a designer, opened his flagship store with a tapas bar and haircuts by the in-shop barber. Snyder claims the bar “softens” the store, making it less about the shopping experience and more about the community.
In-store restaurants have many benefits for shoppers. The shopping experience is changing for both the good and bad. Shopping for clothes, then stopping by for coffee or lunch. Alternatively, they might go to the shop for the food and stay for the apparel. This is a novel way to attract customers in every possible way.
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Concept stores allow you to channel the emotions of a pop up with your creativity
This retail experience has been elevated to a new level by Nordstrom. The new concept stores Nordstrom Local are completely merchandise-free. Instead of selling products, they’re promoting and dropping them altogether.
You can also find stylist consultation, tailoring assistance, snacks, drinks, and manicure services if you just wander in.
You will need to schedule an appointment in order to try on clothes. Nordstrom has a way to distinguish casual shoppers from those who shop for the purpose. It’s more than just making a sale. Nordstrom wants to create brand loyalty and pamper customers. In the end, they hope that eventually shoppers will return to their full-line department store (and sister clearance shops).
These concept shops have the same goals as great pop-up shops. They place more emphasis on experience than product and work in partnership with the larger brand to leave customers wanting more.
Neiman Marcus follows suit with its Idea Factory. This department store chain will launch Phase One of the dedicated experience sections in selected stores. It partners with artists to create custom sportswear, jeans and jackets. Phase two will be more focused on food and beverages, beauty, and wellness.
The stores create the customized products and moments that fashion consumers crave by offering them these experiences.
Use Pop-Ups for Lobby Influencers & Holiday Gift Guides
It’s July in early July. The heat is scorching and margaritas flow freely. Retailers know that it means one thing: Christmas is coming. It’s time for retailers to start thinking about how they can earn a place in the most sought-after holiday gift guides.
Many forward-thinking retail marketers will see this as a holiday-themed pop up aimed at the trades. Everybody wants to make an impact during the holiday season. So how can you stand out from the crowd? Influencers are key.
Attract the attention of the influencers, and they will be drawn to you. You’ll be a star in the top holiday gift guide lists before you know it. Here’s how you can get there.
Get your message across to your audience early
The holiday season begins early. Christmas-themed products start appearing even before Halloween candy goes stale. You must also start planning your pop-up early if you want to succeed.
This means inviting your core business audience and inviting them in advance. The field can get crowded with such a long season in retail. Bloggers, journalists, and vloggers all receive dozens of invitations to holiday events and pop-ups. They can’t (or will not) attend all of them.
Being first is the best way to win in this game. Get your audience excited and reach them early.
It’s like an invitation-only pop-up for Christmas. It is ahead of the opening and generates lots of curiosity and excitement. Your must-see, must experience pop-up will be buzzing with influencers. The crowds will be waiting to get in on the opening day.
Get the exclusivity factor
Pop-ups’ influencers are your VIP guests, the VIPs in the crowd. These are the people who have the greatest impact on your brand and will share social media currency with them through a few posts or promotions. Treat them as if they were your only.
You must make them feel special, so you invite only elite people. You should limit the guests to top influencers and customers. You can reward your top customers with a gift or create a contest to win tickets to the premier pop-up event.
Social media is not the best place to announce your event. It should be exclusive and invitation-only. To build excitement among influential people, share only a few details about the pop-up.
You can even walk the red carpet! You can make the event memorable and unforgettable by capturing the moments on Instagram that influencers will share with their followers. Your influencers will be able to take home a swag bag as well as plenty of samples. They’ll spread the word if they had a positive experience.
Visit your influencer’s hometown
This has been discussed before, but it bears repeating.Mobile pop-upsThey are a show-stopper. They’re also very convenient.
Pop-ups targeted at bloggers and merchandisers are especially vulnerable. A mobile pop-up comes to you, which is a great way to make an influencer feel special (assuming it makes economic sense to travel there). If you are featured in major blogs or in holiday gift guides, it can be worth it.
Influencers help you create excitement and interest. You’re also helping them do their job, which is to gain traction with their followers. You can make their pop-up as memorable as possible and influencers will reciprocate by sharing their experience with their followers.
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