Retailtainment is the concept of adding entertainment and experiences to the retail mix. The trend started several years ago, accelerated during the economic downturn and of course the internet which has created a sense of immediacy. By making everything available at the click of a button, online shopping has redefined consumer expectations for immediate gratification. Brick-and-mortar retailers must work hard to match the convenience of online shopping through creating an experience.
Retailtainment, which brings together traditional retail with experience-driven offerings like restaurants, events and services that can’t be replicated online, seems to be the answer to retailers looking to increase foot traffic, increase spend and keep the consumer lingering for longer.
More than just providing something fun and interactive, smart retailtainment is the careful craft of activities, sounds, sights and smells to entice the consumer to react, relax and feel comfortable in the environment. The psychology of ambience and environment has been well studied, and music, lighting and colour are all proven to influence consumer behaviour. Visting Notcutts on a sunny Mother’s Day and retailainment was in full bloom, providing something for every family member from a play area for the kids, afternoon tea for Mum and gardening tools for Dad – keeping everyone happy.
The idea of entertaining your customers is not new. Hamley’s, the oldest and largest toy shop in the world, has been leveraging retailtainment for years –– with a live entertainer at the door, soap bubbles coming out of the shop, and ongoing events throughout the store to attract kids. Topshop is another good example of a retailer entertaining in store. Inside its Oxford Circus flagship, consumers can find cafes, cupcakes, nail and blowout bars, and DJs interspersed among its latest clothing.
Entertainment introduces a social element that gives a retail store the status as a destination. It gives people reasons to come and reasons to stay, presenting a new and different range of engaging activities and memorable experiences.
As simple as that, retailtainment represents a shift in the model of building a retail business – moving from a heavy emphasis on a product transaction itself to the customer experience and journey that leads to the purchase of a product.