More than ever, people are choosing to buy experiences over material items. For anyone in retail, an industry where material items are the focus, this can be a challenge. However, there is still hope for brick-and-mortar stores! The key to success in retail is event marketing. By using event marketing, or experiential retail, retailers are able to bridge the gap and give consumers what they want. They see where the future of retail is going.
Forbes says retailers that realize there’s “no replacement for the sensory touchpoint” in brick-and-mortar locations “will certainly have an edge in the rapidly changing marketplace.”
With 72% of millennials choosing to invest in experiences over tangible products, now is the time to start implementing events into your marketing plan. Millennials enjoy the benefits of an experience purchase both in anticipation of and during the event. They’re able to make connections with family and friends in attendance. And, this brings satisfaction after in the form of stronger relationships and joyful memories. Yet, even when brands target a different generation, they shouldn’t discount the need for an experience.
Here are some retail event marketing tactics and examples to get ideas flowing.
Retail Event Marketing Ideas
1. Pop-up shops. Whether you’re primarily online or a brick-and-mortar, a pop-up shop is a change of pace that will entice your customers. You can partner with complementary stores or try somewhere completely different. The more spice for your pop-up, the better. Here are 7 great tips for your pop-up shop event.
2. Host classes. These class events give the consumer a hands-on interaction with your product. Remember, what people want is a retail experience. By offering classes, you have an easy opportunity to engage with consumers and give them a memorable retail event marketing experience.
3. Go guerilla. Guerilla marketing is the use of a stand-out display to draw the attention of consumers. The crazier the better for this tactic. The goal is to have people notice whatever you put out there so the more foot-traffic the better. We love the way these companies have utilized guerilla marketing – you can’t miss it!
4. Use your community. Pay close attention to other events happening around you. They’re usually an easy way to implement retail event marketing. While it may not be the most creative option, it’s a great place to start and meet consumers where they will already be!
Retail Event Marketing Examples We Love
There are so many retail brands bridging the gap and giving consumers what they want. They see where the future of retail is going. Here are five examples of brands in the retail industry that have made their products stand out through different events.
1. Warby Parker Mobile Tour – The eyewear brand created a mobile tour experiential marketing campaign they called “Class Trip.” Brand ambassadors traveled to nine U.S. cities in a yellow school bus. At each stop, visitors to the bus got to come aboard, where they “met” the brand in-person and tried on products.
2. Nordstrom Pop-Up Shops – This luxury department store chain goes above and beyond to deliver an experience customers won’t soon forget. In fact, it understands the value of experiential retail so much, it recently opened its first store dedicated to experience. Nordstrom Local, the new, smaller Nordstrom stores will carry no inventory. Yet, personal stylists will assist shoppers with their wardrobes, fulfilling orders online or via nearby, “regular” stores. Also, people can enjoy a cup of coffee, get their nails done, have their clothes altered and see other select merchandise on display. Meanwhile, back in their original locations, Nordstrom is hosting brands with month-long pop-up shops, generating excitement and traffic. And, it’s even delivering online purchases curbside to offer value and make life easier for its loyal customer base.
3. Ikea Sleepover – For the many people that love Ikea, 100 Facebook fans were selected to spend the night at one of their warehouses. They were treated with massages, sleep experts to advise their rest, and their choice of mattress and sheets – all provided by Ikea. This retail event marketing tactic sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
4. Topshop Water Slide – A water slide in the heart of London? It may sound outrageous but Topshop made the event happen thanks to virtual reality. This event gave their customers an experience that they won’t forget, especially since so many documented it on social media. With social assets made just for the event, Topshop’s waterslide definitely served its purpose of drawing attention.
5. House of Vans – In a 30,000 sq ft. building representing everything that Vans stands for, there is a free attraction that perfectly appeals to Vans’ target audience. The House of Vans holds a café, theater, venue for live music, art gallery, and a bottom floor with skate ramps and a street course. Few brands have been able to provide an experience for consumers this great. Vans proves that if any industry is capable of perfectly executing event marketing, it is the retail industry.
Make Retail Event Marketing a Reality
Get moving on your events. The future of retail depends on it! Like we said before, there is no industry more equipped to use an experience to sell a product. The one thing you will need to make your ideas a reality though, is awesome staff. We’d love to talk to you about how we can help you implement retail event marketing into your brand. Take a look at the many services we provide and let us know how we can help!