Experiences are the north star in retail — learnings from GlobalShop 2018

April 26, 2018

Perspective

Written by Angie Hughes | Account Manager at Periscope

Periscope recently sent a team of experts to Chicago to attend the GlobalShop trade show. For 25+ years, GlobalShop has served as the nation’s largest retail design industry trade show, combining store design, visual merchandising, retail technology and shopper marketing leaders under one roof.

Our time in Chicago would not be complete without a walk down the infamous Miracle Mile, window shopping on Michigan Avenue. The allure of makeup, clothes or electronics can become cluttered in such a heavily populated retail space. Some stores were glaring with two-story video screens, while others were more understated with a simple well-dressed mannequin in the window. Whether you’re walking down a retail-populated street or entering a mall, one thing is certain — retail is changing, and rapidly.

Here are the biggest must-knows in retail for 2018:

Retail space isn’t just about shopping anymore: The shift is toward experiencing.

Retailers are leaning toward creating an environment that allows the consumer to choose when and how to purchase, creating a truly frictionless experience. They‘re also making the entire in-store shopping process more experiential. Many new malls are becoming community gathering places, with curated art, fitness gyms and communal work areas in the center, while the retail recedes into the edges of the space. Some malls are even integrating small (500 sq. ft.) apartments, to join living, working and leisure environments.

Delivering memorable experiences is now coming through new tech like augmented and virtual reality.

Just imagine a virtual store built with augmented reality, that is infinitely customizable and can be personalized to the user. The GoPuff app created a virtual convenience store, complete with 30-minute delivery, and the shopping experience became gamified, providing entertainment and a completely immersive experience. The seamless experience allowed users to forget they were shopping, leading to unplanned purchases and building brand loyalty. It was a huge win for the brand, with very little upfront investment for the consumer.

It’s not just about purchasing — the experiences that are created should help both sell and build a relationship that delivers long-term equity.

As the retail landscape continues to change, marketers will need to look for new ways to engage our customers. How can we create memorable and authentic experiences with them? What tools do we have to showcase our brand in a way that is meaningful and isn’t just about purchasing? At the end of the day, we want to sell, but long-term, the most equity comes from brand love. Brick and mortar stores will be relevant as long as they are a place where retail brands can create meaningful, personalized experiences for consumers.