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BizReport : Ecommerce : November 09, 2021

Top 3 tips to create a better experiential retail strategy

The right experience can not only boost one-time sales figures, but overall lifetime customer values by improving customer loyalty. For this reason many merchants and brands have 'Improve Retail Experience' topping their list of to-dos as we head toward 2022. Here's how to create a stronger retail experience.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How can merchants use their brick-and-mortar spaces to drive sales?

Jonathan Yaffe, co-founder and CEO, AnyRoad: Retailers have quickly realized that they can no longer rely on opening new brick-and-mortar locations alone as a way to drive store traffic and sales. Instead, many are turning to experiential initiatives to get people in the door, create amazing experiences, and ultimately drive sales and loyalty.

One way of doing this is by creating in-store, hands-on experiences that simply cannot be replicated virtually. DICK'S Sporting Goods, an AnyRoad customer, offers a great example. This year, the retailer launched several locations of its House of Sports concept to give consumers first-hand experiences with the products they are considering purchasing - and get advice from trainers and professionals - complete with a 17,000 sq. foot turf field, batting cages, rock climbing walls, and more.

Kristina: How can an improved experience drive higher loyalty rates?

Jonathan: Experiences are an extremely powerful tool for driving loyalty. They are often transformative, helping to capture the hearts of customers and make them feel deeply connected to a brand.

In the past, retailers had little or no way of measuring the outcomes of their experiential programs. Now, solutions like AnyRoad allow them to understand exactly what kind of experiences are changing consumer behaviors, perspectives and consumption habits - and provide the data to optimize and scale the best performing experiences accordingly.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips to create a good experiential retail strategy?

Jonathan: Think like a scientist. Many brands considering experiential retail can 'overthink' the approach. We recommend you start small testing concepts and your ability to execute them and then scale out. It could be as simple as trialing an online class with your employees or setting up an in-store experience that employees can interact with. Once you have the execution framework down, you can roll it out to consumers and use feedback and data to optimize.

Develop a measurement framework. Experiential initiatives are great, but retailers can't understand or prove the value if they aren't capturing data, generating feedback or measuring the results.

Learn from the experts. There are dozens of retailers running experiential programs. Visit their experiences and participate to learn how they execute. If interested in educational content check out Michaels Stores and Sur La Table for their classes. If looking at new pop-up concepts check out D2C brands like Bonobos who have a shop in-store, buy online model. Finally, if looking for mall concepts check out what Alibaba is doing in China with new experiential malls.

Tags: AnyRoad, ecommerce, ecommerce tips, ecommerce trends, experiential ecommerce, experiential retail tips

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