Ecommerce’s rise has changed how physical retailers interact with their customers. Malls around the world struggle to attract new vendors. Anyone can log in to Amazon and find what they want in a few minutes. This has forced the “brick and mortars” to get more innovative.
The last few years have seen a renaissance in experiential retail marketing. Providing a fun, branded experience can be a great way to get people into your store. It also encourages awareness and interest in your products.
Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you three examples of retailers who thought outside the box to deliver better customer experiences:
Topshop Customers Ride a Virtual Water Slide in Central London
Topshop leads the experiential marketing space. The fashion retailer had already connected customers with expert fashion consultants, free yoga classes, and art shows. But in 2017 they took things to a new level.
Centered around its iconic headquarters, the U.K. brand encouraged participants to ride a giant (digital) waterslide. Using a virtual reality headset, thrill seekers got a high-speed tour of the area surrounding Topshop’s site. Shoppers zipped over double-decker buses – narrowly avoiding cars whilst flying high over downtown London.
The ride garnered lots of social media attention. A trending Twitter hashtag (#TopshopSplash) and a special Snapchat filter sparked thousands of online conversations. Mini events bolstered things further, with a post-flume photoshoot adding to the experience. This highly immersive campaign gave Topshop lots of attention. It also encouraged customers to stay in the store for hours.
Refinery29’s “29Rooms…a Style-Infused Funhouse”
Online publisher Refinery29 hosts their 29Rooms event several times per year. The company describes it as “an interactive funhouse of style, culture, and technology.” Different branded partners (including Dunkin’ Donuts, Dyson and Cadillac) put each of the 29 individually crafted rooms together. Visitors can take pictures, or interact with each spaces’ contents.
Refinery29 encourages each guest to create something artistic. In 2017, one of the rooms provided guests with boxing gloves…plus punching bags that elicited different sounds when struck. Consequently, they used this system to record their own original songs.
A unique event, “29Rooms” brought the publisher a healthy dose of attention—its success led to similar events being confirmed for New York and Los Angeles this year. Further expansion seems likely.
Benefit Cosmetics Offers Beauty Pop-up Shops at Festivals
Benefit Cosmetics devised a novel way to boost brand experience. How? By opening the world’s first “Beauty and Brows Popup Shop.” Close to the U.K.’s Glastonbury festival, its drive-thru format allowed participants to meet beauticians and shop assistants. Representatives also provided them with goodie bags filled with “brow-inspired gift options.”
As festival-goers poured onto the site (getting stuck in traffic jams along the way), the pop-up provided a welcome reprieve from the crowded streets.
Experiential Marketing Delivers Endearing Experiences
Experiential marketing can provide fun, interesting, and endearing experiences for customers—all while building loyalty to your brand. The three examples in this article show how innovative thinking can do wonders for retailers.