Brick and mortar environments remain vital in building strong brand and consumer relationships
Although many people continue to discuss the growing threat that e-commerce has on brick-and-mortar retail, the retail store is far from dead. There is no doubt that e-commerce is growing at a much faster pace, but physical stores still continue to hold their value with revenues remaining positive, with an approximate 1 – 2% growth depending on your source.
However, whilst the physical store isn’t going anywhere, this doesn’t mean retailers can sit back and maintain the status quo. Digital disruption is increasingly transforming the retail sector, so a failure to innovate with the times places many traditional retailers in a difficult position. It is time for them to up their game, as being ‘good’ is no longer good enough! You don’t have to look far to identify those brands in the market which fail to provide innovative physical retail experiences and as a result are disappearing quickly from the consumer market. Toys R Us is the latest victim of brand complacency, emphasising the lessons that must quickly be learnt by similar brands in the same position.
Building a strong connection with your customers is essential so brands must form a memorable, in-store experience which reflects their brand values and personality. Physical retail stores are no longer just a channel for buying, but rather a living and breathing space of a brand.
What to watch in 2018! – Augmented and Virtual Reality
Experiential marketing can play a key role in innovating a brands’ retail space. This year Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to transform the retail experience, providing a link between the online and offline worlds. Forward thinking brands are already incorporating AR technology into consumer experiences.
Charlotte Tilbury AR Mirrors
Take for example cosmetics brand, Charlotte Tilbury who incorporated AR into its in-store mirrors. By scanning customer faces which were then projected on to the in-store mirrors, the AR images displayed customers wearing ten of the brand’s iconic looks in less than a minute – without physically wearing any makeup. – Speeding up their decision making via this flexible (and fun) experience!
Topshop’s VR Digital Roller-coaster
Last year saw Topshop launch a looping waterslide in its iconic London HQ store, through the powers of VR, taking participants on a digital roller-coaster throughout Oxford Street. Beyond providing an immersive and shareable experience for instore participants, the experience was also captured on its online channels drumming up great conversations on a variety of social platforms.
Nike’s HyperAdapt 1.0 VR Immersive Retail Experience
One of our most recent retail design projects involved collaborating with Nike to create an immersive retail environment for the European launch of the HyperAdapt 1.0 self-tightening sneakers. Appointed by Nike as lead retail agency to oversee the implementation of the campaign, we collaborated with a team of in-store digital experts, working closely with Nike to install a pioneering retail concept.
The concept took each individual customer on a personalised journey beginning from the very moment they were greeted as they entered the store. Customers were then immersed in a VR video, where they were then taken inside the office of sneaker guru, Tinker Hatfield, who explained the design & inspiration behind the Hyper Adapt 1.0. Customers where then invited to try on their own pair, walking down a catwalk to infinity mirrors, before posing for 360-degree photos, which were then captured and shared on social media channels. Our truly immersive digital concept resonated well with Nike’s target audience, whilst further elevating Nike’s authority as the leading global sports fashion brand.
Creating a more immersive in-store brand experience has never been more important!
Retail stores don’t just sell products anymore, they provide living experiences – ‘retailtainment’, is an interesting area to watch!
To define your retail experiences, get in touch with Mynt