- In the ‘new normal’ consumers have developed an appetite for immersive experiences in physical stores, desire for ‘Experiential Retail’ is paramount
- Both millennials and Gen Z seek personalised meaningful experiences in return for which they are willing to share more actionable data and insights
- Experiential retail is the way to reconnect with consumers, owning their time investment in today’s ‘experience economy’ – the fourth economic offering
A report by Statista stated that despite the current pandemic state, between June and July this year the US retail sales witnessed an increase of 1.2% out of which the clothing and clothing accessory segment amounted for an increase of 5.7%; a promising recovery from the decline in sales during the February-April period. The same consumer behaviour has been visible in Toronto where fashion enthusiasts lined up outside Zara, Dior, and Louis Vuitton stores to walk back home with a smile on their face and hands full of shopping bags. Apparel giants such as Macy’s and Kohl’s have also confirmed a sales rebound in the post-pandemic era. While experts predicted that shoppers may permanently move to online shopping, consumers are finding their way back to brick & mortar retail stores.
The health, social, psychological and more importantly economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic has made it tough for many industries to survive. A silver lining has appeared for retailers especially in the fashion, sports apparel and lifestyle segment. Specifically those brands who reinvent themselves and re-engage with consumers. Sports retail brands are integrating digital experiences and interactive technology in their store designs to provide consumers with more immersive experiences. For example consumers can try a variety of cross training footwear in virtual jogger parks, basketball courts and soccer fields; surrounded by action cameras and body sensors which track and display both body movements and activity, allowing consumers to select footwear that best fit their needs and desires. In Japan, Adidas recently opened one of their largest flagship stores in Tokyo showcasing an immersive design with high-end projection mapping technology. Levi’s US has made this journey back to retail stores engaging with DIY sessions, online contests and social media extension – strengthening their digital path to purchase and building brand loyalty. Millennials had opened their arms to interactive experiences long before this pandemic forced shoppers to stay home.