Retailtainment or how to reinvent the customer experience » PACA Economic and Political Newsletter

By Benjamin Germain, CENAREO Marketing Director.

If the democratization of e-commerce has profoundly changed consumption habits, physical commerce must diversify to continue attracting and retaining consumers. To reinvent themselves, the points of sale are betting on retailtainment, a marketing trend based on a unique in-store experience that combines entertainment, surprise and innovation. Thus, each consumer will be able to experience a unique and immersive shopping journey that digital cannot offer. To reinvent themselves, the points of sale rely on retailtainment, a unique and immersive in-store customer experience that digital cannot offer.

1- A fun experience that arouses curiosity

A smart mix of the words retail (commerce) and entertainment (entertainment), retailtainment consists of injecting a dose of entertainment at the physical point of sale to immerse the customer in a universe specific to the brand. Strongly anchored in North America, this concept was launched with the aim of revitalizing shopping centers with a drop in traffic. In fact, with the omnichannel expansion and more recently with the Covid crisis, consumers have adopted new shopping habits, simpler and faster, without leaving home. The objective of this concept is, therefore, to offer customers an experience that goes beyond the simple fact of buying.
Once there, the consumer’s attention is immediately captured, the attractiveness of the point of sale stimulates him and increases interest in the brand. At the same time, the implemented action boosts the brand’s awareness, contributes to the consolidation of its offer and facilitates the purchase decision of its visitors. It also allows you to attract the most curious consumers, retain the most volatile ones and improve relationships with the most reluctant ones. Indeed, in a world dominated by hyperconsumption, the quality of a product is no longer the only trigger for coming to the store: the context, the environment or even the consumer’s state of mind greatly influence their choice. It is, therefore, a real lever for growth and acquisition.

2- The WOW effect acclaimed by retailers

With ultra-personalized and immersive strategies, retailers create great promises to make consumers want to move. The point of sale thus becomes a place of life in accordance with the image they intend to convey. This approach is a powerful means of differentiating the competition and meets the expectations of consumers looking for new experiences.
Brands understood this and many brands took over entertainment retail. Some even cultivated the concept, for example the Lego brand. In fact, in addition to being able to buy the latest news from the brand, it is also possible for families to admire constructions (characters or emblematic places) and spaces were created for the practice of the art of construction itself and several masonry towers were erected as a totem for incorporate the brand and expose the breadth of its offer. So some families go to Lego as if they were going to an activity, and don’t hesitate to go to the checkout to prolong the magic when they get back home.
Internationally, M&Ms also organized its point of sale. In a store of approximately 2,320 square meters spread over three floors, visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the universe of the famous milk chocolate bonbon. Thus, the brand installed several screens transmitting animations in Time Square, offers exclusive product lines in stores and adorned its walls with an infinity of tubes filled with M&Ms to give substance to its visual identity. 🇧🇷
Other chain stores, such as Nature & Découverte or IKEA, have long relied on experience to seduce their customers, particularly through theatricality and role-playing.

3- Digital brings a new dimension

Today’s generations are “digital natives”, but above all elusive. Previously, companies held the power and consumers followed their dictates. Today, the new generations have completely reversed the trend: it is now up to brands to adapt to this new type of consumer, eager for 360° and immersive experiences, giving meaning to their purchases and shaking up all codes. 🇧🇷 Ultra-connected, he has the power to influence a brand’s reputation through social media. The battles it leads (LGBT, Uighur, environment, stereotypes, etc.) force brands to review their entire value chain, under penalty of being boycotted. The new generations are increasingly shopping online to learn about the brand’s values, see the opinion of their favorite influencers, check the composition, product origin, manufacturing conditions, etc. However, they tend to favor the experience over the product. An advantage that retailers have understood and built into their retail and entertainment strategy. On the other hand, screens and sound have become necessary elements of entertainment retail. Retailers therefore need to use retail media solutions that are flexible and easily deployable across a large number of outlets. In effect, all marketing communication channels, both at the point of sale and using transactional, demographic and e-commerce navigation data, will allow for on-the-spot control of the show.

Experimental is therefore undeniably the future of retail, but there are still areas of development to be studied. Why not combine social media to reach ultra-connected consumers as well as create lifestyle spaces? This would generate a constant and immediate interaction between the point of sale and the digital channel. Snapchat filter with brand image, TikTok trend, Instagram live… Social networks offer an infinite range of possibilities that arouse users’ interest, involve their participation and create a bond of belonging with the brand for an expanded experience in the market. point of sale and within reach.

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