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How Experiential Retailing Is Affecting Commercial Real Estate – And Why You Should Care

experiential retailing affects commercial real estate

Experiential retailing is an important part of successful retail, and if you own a retail property – be it a shopping mall, QSR, or single tenant net lease, then it’s a smart idea to understand how this new trend is fueling sales around the world.

What Is Experiential Retailing

It’s not enough today to just sell good products. Today’s consumers want immediate access to their purchases… but they also want to feel connected to the company that makes them.

As a result, selling good products isn’t enough to ensure a brick and mortar store survives: owners must find ways to engage their customers as well.

In order to increase foot traffic, retailers are offering fun, unique experiences that help engage the consumer and create a memorable experience. Also called “retailtainment,” this marketing blend of retail and entertainment is gaining popularity as retailers search for ways to capture their prospects’ attention.

By creating an experience that not only captures their customers’ attention but encourages them to visit the brick and mortar store, companies hope to convert prospects to customers as well as create loyal fans.

Here’s how to use retailtainment in your retail property in order to attract more customers to your brick and mortar store.

For A Successful Retail Always Choose A Theme

experiential retailing

Whether you’re a small single tenant retail store or a superplex shopping mall, choosing a theme is an effective way of getting the most bang for your buck.

Not only does it help you focus on the area most likely to increase your profits, but choosing a theme provides plenty of opportunities for creating a story about your products, how they are used, and who uses them.

Use Stories To Educate And Engage Customers

As humans, we are hardwired to be interested in stories, but they also make it easier for you to educate and engage your customers… which ultimately helps you create rewarding experiences that customers can’t find online.

Instead of putting pressure on customers to buy, create interactive in-store displays that invite consumers to discover more about a particular product. Or, create displays in the store that allow consumers to try out your products in a non-threatening environment.

For example, Freitag, a German company that makes recycled bike messenger bags, has a bike stand outside its stores with free bikes for loan. Anyone can borrow a bike – and a Freitag messenger bike – and return it when they’re done to the nearest company store.

Retail owners can even go a step further and take a page out of the theme park designer’s book. Every ride, restaurant, and landscape at a theme park is planned as an integral part of an overall story-themed experience.

Each one is designed not just to engage the patrons, but to involve each one of their five senses. They might do this through sound and light displays, interactive “hot spots” or secret “Easter eggs” planted in a particular spot for, particularly perceptive patrons. All of these factors work together to create an immersive experience that patrons can’t wait to experience over and over again.

Encourage Consumers To Sit and Stay A While

Believe it or not, with all of the hustle and bustle of the modern world, and the focus on convenience in retail, sometimes consumers actually want a place where they can sit and enjoy the surroundings for a while.

On a basic level, this might mean adding a comfortable seating area, installing power stations to recharge cell phones, or adding a barista or ethnic restaurant.

Provide Personalized Service

in retail always provide personalized service

New research shows that customers are demanding more personalized service. In fact, studies show that brands who do it well see an increase of up to 5.7 times more revenue.

Personalization can be complex, such as using data to analyze a consumer’s buying patterns to send relevant offers – even before the client realizes they need the product. Or it can be as simple as knowing the customer’s first name.

Either way, providing personalized service starts with having a conversation with your customers so you can get to know them better.

Creating a two-way conversation allows you to understand what your customers’ true needs are. You’ll go from pushing a product, to solving a problem for your consumer. Even better, statistics show that once customers see how well you understand their needs, they spend more money with your business.

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Tags: commercial real estate, experiential retailing, retail, retail properties, retailtainment, shopping malls, Single tenant net lease