With the rise in online retail, pop-up shops are increasingly becoming a hub for customers to immerse themselves in brand experiences. This means that physical retail space is moving up in the buyer’s journey, from point of sale to a tool for generating buyer consideration. That’s a fundamental shift in the usage of physical brick and mortar, which traditional retailers have yet to catch up on.
We’ve gathered some ways brands are repurposing brick and mortar, by leveraging tech in every aspect of the brand experience.
1. Experiential Retail
Experiential retail is a buzzword in retailing for good reason: customers engage, they don’t just buy. Sephora, for example, created “New Sephora Experience”, featuring the Beauty Hub with digital apps to test products, shoppable connected terminals. Sephora has also created the Beauty Board, a social media platform to like a look, tag the products used, and share them with the Sephora beauty community.
2. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality can be used inside of a store to create an experience or it can be used to broadcast an event, or even the store itself, to the world. Topshop famously provided a pop-up virtual reality experience in store that made customers feel as though they were on a waterslide while shopping in-store.
Concept stores in which multiple brands and designers collaborate under one pop-up store are starting to become more popular, too. Budget friendly for the brands, collabs allow brands to leverage the audience of their partners while creating a brick and mortar experience.
4. Pop-up Shops
Exemplifying to the trend that digital-first companies are leveraging brick and mortar as a marketing tool, the famous lingerie e-commerce start-up, Adore Me, launched a pop-up where there were no actual products sold. The products were available to touch, see, and try on, or hang out at a selfie wall and receive discount codes to be redeemed online.
5. Immersive Video
Lexus opened up a popup car dealership in Madison Square Garden called the Lexus Lounge, where customers could engage with interactive video showcasing the car’s features. Their newest model was displayed proudly in the center of the space, upping the ante on the luxury factor and exclusivity of the car.
With the many options available to transform retail into a more interactive space, we’re excited to see how the role of retail changes in the business and marketing funnel in coming years.
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