This year’s John Lewis Retail Report focuses on the changes that have happened over the past five years in retail. It’s an interesting way of seeing how the world around us determines what we want to buy, and how much we follow the crowd as consumers.
I’m not just talking about politics or the latest series of Bake off. I’m talking about the world around us: shops, destinations, experiences.
In the past year alone, we’ve witnessed just how much of an impact consumer experience can have on sales. And John Lewis got it right this year, with their ultimate 'try before you buy experience', “The Residence”. This was an in-store, fully-furnished (with everything buyable in store) apartment which allowed a few lucky contest winners to stay the night. John Lewis also allowed these contest winners to bring up to ten of their friends along for a dinner party to share the experience; a story that will stay in consumers’ minds and on their lips whenever they think of the brand.
Even ASOS is getting in on the act with a unique twist on their 'try before you buy' online service. They are allowing users to order clothes and try them on before paying for the ones they want to keep and sending back those they don’t. Revolutionary in the digital world, yet common practice among brick and mortar stores.
It’s not just about try before you buy though. Customer experiences such as in-store demonstrations have a huge impact on the relationship a customer might have with a product, and itmay well be the difference between a sale for you or your competitor. It’s about creating a positive brand relationship with the customer, and having someone passionate in-store recommending your product does just that.
With consumer spending on entertainment and experiences increasing by 10.5% this year, there are opportunities across the board for shops of all shapes and sizes to capitalise on this way of drawing shoppers in. Those who are already doing so are seeing the benefits and it’s little wonder that these savvy retailers are planning to increase their investment in in-store experiences over the next two years.
At hps Retail7, we are proud to have recently scooped gold at the Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards 2017 for our work with a leading smartphone manufacturer which led to a 349% increase in retail sales.
If you’d like to learn more about how hps Retail7 can enhance your in-store marketing team and shape the way your customers shop, please contact Andy Boothroyd on 01628 450738 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: John Lewis retail report, George Allardice, Head of Strategy, Barclaycard Payment Solutions