The news that House of Fraser is to close more than half of its UK stores was a surprise to some, and obviously very unwelcome for their staff. But it is just one more example of the changing face of retail. There’s the well established trend towards online sales but we’re also seeing the rising importance of experience and experiential retail.
John Lewis are changing their stores to improve customer experience. Gucci have taken it to the next level with a paid-for experience in a 14th century palazzo in Florence. The House of Vans designed by skaters for skaters is a fantastic example of a brand building a long-term relationship with its customers.
Buying decisions have always been complicated but behaviour has changed so that now people are looking for one of two things – either a quick and easy online purchase, or the chance to engage with a brand, browse products, and build a relationship with them.
Activations are common and increasingly important to brands. Particularly drinks brands, food companies, sports wear retailers, car manufacturers but the list is growing, as is the range of opportunities. We’ve worked with a wide range of agencies and companies to help them to evaluate their activations at events, exhibitions, festivals, shopping centres and on the streets.
Interestingly Amazon, an online-only retailer recognise the value of a physical presence and customer experience; their Treasure Truck has been out and about across the UK.
To be successful retailers need to change with the times. As always careful measurement and evaluation of marketing activities is vital. We love helping companies to stop guessing and start measuring. Please get in touch to find out how we can help you.