DDi - July 2012 - (Page 16)
16 | Shopper Insights
Time to “entertain” a new approach to retailing
oday’s shopper has come to expect a show in the aisles. As the battle for shoppers intensifies, retailers spanning the gamut from supermarkets to apparel to mass merchandise are all striving to create a new era of “retailtainment” in hopes that they might put on the best show to attract new customers and retain current ones. This new way of retailing has meant a heavy investment in rethinking and replacing key components of the retail experience, ranging from retail fixtures to interactive shopper technology to instore displays to the physical store design. While we often view our respective roles in the retail environment as singular functions, we forget that, in reality, none of these components is experienced in isolation on the part of the shopper. Instead, each element acts as a gear helping turn the next to generate and bring to life the expansive retail machine that ignites a passion and sense of wonder in the shopper—who ultimately fuels the cyclical mechanism with his or her dollars.
Realizing that we each serve our own independent part in the retail ecosystem, it is important that we also work toward one goal in unison—to provide the best shopping experience possible.
Shoppers no longer expect to endure messy fixtures, gray lighting and staff who are uninterested in helping them. Sound drastic? Just look at the wild success that many concept stores have experienced and the kind of experiences they’ve designed, which have left many satisfied shoppers leaving the premises grinning from ear-to-ear as they reel from their experiential day out. This is retailtainment.
—Richard Winter is the president of POPAI, The Global Association for Marketing at Retail, an information source for brand marketers, retailers, producers and suppliers. Find out more at www.popai.com.
Number 13 at www.ddionline.com/readerservice
So, as we usher in a new era of retailtainment, in-store theater or whatever else it may come to be known as, it is important that we acknowledge one very important reality: shoppers will notice the difference in how spacious a shop feels, how goods are arranged to be more attractive and even the music being played. And once the standard is raised, it can never be lowered. Redesigning the shopping experience from scratch—and doing it quickly, which is a necessity in today’s on-demand culture—is no small feat. This realization has led many retailers to take baby steps in this new direction for quite a while now. Unfortunately, these baby steps also mean that we aren’t fully working toward one goal in unison. This isn’t to suggest that we are neither able nor willing to do our part; rather, we are waiting for the marching orders. But, what if we collectively helped each retailer take the big steps to engage shoppers by sharing our expertise, insights and creative ingenuity? This seems to be a viable path that some retailers, such as J.C. Penney and Macy’s, are already traveling along as they move full speed ahead into reinvention. It only takes a few brave pioneers to explore the unknown and blaze the trail for others to follow—whether we do so willingly or out of necessity is the question we’ll have to face.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of DDi - July 2012
DDi - July 2012
From the Editor
From the Show Director
El Palacio de Hierro
Global Department Store Summit
State of the Fixture Industry Roundtable
2012 Fixture Leaders listing
2012 Fixture Leaders company index
DDi - July 2012