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Six ways to bring back the love
Remember when going to the mall meant driving around for an eternity looking for a parking spot? If so, you probably also remember a time when shopping could be a real outing not to mention a dose of retail therapy that fed a hungry era of conspicuous consumption—and, if you were a boisterous teenager back then, hanging out at the mall was also the de rigueur social experience!
No longer living in a ‘material world’
While Madonna may have sung about living in a material world, today’s millennials are singing a different tune: living in an experiential world. That is, they value experiences over material goods—not to mention sharing them on Instagram.
“Experiences are also what people increasingly use to define themselves across social channels. Take a spin through your Instagram and Facebook feeds, and you’re more likely to see a friend’s trip to Angkor Wat or pictures of their baby on the beach in Tulum versus photos of a Vuitton bag or new pair of Louboutins,” Ad Age reports.
An online U.S. study of millennials conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Eventbrite found that: “More than 3 in 4 millennials (78%) would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events than ever before, with no signs of slowing.”
So are millennials addicted to experiences? “Not shockingly, more than 8 in 10 millennials (82%) attended or participated in a variety of live experiences in the past year, ranging from parties, concerts, festivals, performing arts and races and themed sports—and more so than other older generations (70%). But millennials can’t get enough. 72% say they would like to increase their spending on experiences rather than physical things in the next year, pointing to a move away from materialism and a growing demand for real-life experiences,” adds Eventbrite.
But, it’s not just the millennial generation. “Since 1987, the share of consumer spending on live experiences and events relative to total U.S. consumer spending increased 70%. People want to experience more, and businesses are evolving and entering the market to meet that demand.”
Bringing back the love
So what can retailers do? Here are six ways to leverage consumer experiences and win hearts—as well as provide some Instagram-worthy moments.
IKEA states: “Once inside, you’ll be equipped with two wands, which let you navigate freely and try out all the cool stuff. For instance, with a simple click you can change the color of cabinets and drawers. So let’s fantasize – if there were NO limits to your desires, what would your kitchen look like? What would it feel like?”
Jesper Brodin, IKEA Range & Supply Manager, adds: “Virtual reality is developing fast and in five to ten years it will be an integrated part of people’s lives. We see that it will play a major role in the future, for instance it could be used to enable people to try out a variety of home furnishing solutions before buying them.”
And many consumers have already embraced the idea of having more technology in their retail experiences. A recently released survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) states that by 2020, consumers want to:
– Have access to products/sizes available in store without engaging a salesperson (62 percent)
– Virtually view how home furnishings and how accessories fit in a home before they make a purchase (55 percent)
– Compile a shopping list on a store app and receive a floor map to locate products (54 percent)
– 80% of those who have mall/shopping center apps choose to receive notifications about sales/promotions and/or special events while shopping
– 44% of respondents want to receive access to apps or screens that make it easy to get information such as ingredients in products for allergies, dietary needs, etc.
– 43% of consumers are receptive to the idea of retailers personalizing prices based on their shopping patterns and demographics
– 39% would visit a mall or shopping center more often if they received alerts from stores that are selling products they are interested in purchasing
Up to six people at a time will be able to interact in a Dreamscape Immersive VR experience lasting about 10 minutes with ticket prices on par with that of movie tickets, adds Brandchannel.
A golden opportunity?
While brick-and-mortar sales may have been altered due to the digital world, with creative solutions and innovative technologies, there’s a whole new frontier of opportunities to help bring consumers with an experiential nature back to the material world.
To learn more about how we can meet your in-store needs, contact us at eastwestmg.com/contact-us/
Laura Huhn researches and writes on trends and emerging technologies in relation to CPG, food and beverage, health, luxury brands and more.
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