In-store Experience – The Reinvention of Retail
Something unusual is happening on the high street. Despite the rise of online shopping and the firestorm of the pandemic affecting many traditional bricks and mortar stores, green shoots are appearing. Not only are existing outlets reinventing themselves; we are now seeing growing numbers of previously online-only brands opening physical stores. Behind this evolving retail renaissance is in-store experience – but what exactly is an in-store experience and how easy is it to implement?
What is experiential shopping?
To tempt customers back into their stores, brands must transform the traditional retail concept into something that offers shopping experiences that are engaging, enjoyable and memorable. With 86% of consumers willing to pay more for better experiences  – up to 16% more, according to PwC  – not only can this increase footfall; it can also help overcome the competition from cheaper online pricing.
It is no surprise, then, that there is a growing UK trend for outlet repurposing, with brands looking to create 'retailtainment' stores. Some of the more high-concept projects we have seen in London include the Adidas mega-store , where changing room interfaces let shoppers ask for different colours and sizes, or the House of Vans flagship store, where customers can watch movies, listen to bands, try out Vans products and even skate on a free-to-use ramp and street course. Dr. Martens’ Camden store, meanwhile, offers a VR station, shoe customisation zone and a GIF booth for social sharing.
The examples above clearly show the importance of incorporating new technologies into the repurposing of commercial spaces. For a long time, eCommerce has been viewed as the market disruptor, today, however, disruption is being brought to the high street by brands armed with the latest technologies, such as 3D meet and greet holograms, Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems and digital displays, and app-first shopping experiences where customers can find out about and buy products by scanning them with their phones.
The appeal of ‘retailtainment’ to today’s experience-led, tech-savvy consumers, offers a real opportunity for brands to transform their offering, not just to attract customers, but to increase loyalty. And for those with an omnichannel presence, this has benefits both online and in-store.
A trusted partner
At Sigma, we partner with clients to identify opportunities that add value to their brand and our fit-out and redevelopment services cover all aspects of development from planning to completion. Our experienced project managers keep costs down, manage equipment procurement and supplier lead times, deliver the best efficiencies and ensure reporting timelines and review periods are met.
For retail brands wishing to create in-store experiences for their customers, working with the support and expertise of a trusted partner can be fundamental to achieving success.
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