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Understand how online shopping is part of consumer's daily lives and leisure

The need for a good shopping experience motivates retail entertainment for customers and is known to have endless possibilities.

Function was a key factor in making purchases: For example, previously you would go to a physical store, choose the item, head to the checkout, make the payment and "see you next need, store" :). On the Internet, you create your cart and your wishlist, reviewing the terms of purchase and shipping, close the purchase at any time, and would just be anxious to have the items in your hands.

Simplicity and convenience are no longer the key points. Shopping today must have an unforgettable experience for modern shoppers. This is "retailtainment".

Retailtainment is the natural evolution of an industry that is constantly changing and is now driven more by experiences than products, both online and offline. It is fueled by trends that have emerged in our digital experiences, from social media to our favorite apps.

Online shopping is part of the consumer lifestyle in these modern times. Exploring and browsing brands' feeds on social networks or their own websites has become a common and fast form of personal entertainment.

This new habit is bringing some noticeable results, mainly due to the fact that the experience on e-commerce sites also clearly reflects the experience on social networks: for example, a scrolling product feed similar to the experience provided by Instagram can result in shoppers spending 73% more than compared to browsing products on different pages.

But retail entertainment goes beyond just being the products in an endless, continuous scrolling. They can be in the form of videos, such as vlogs, tutorials, and even advertising clips - which grab attention because they are creative and relatable. They also take the form of gamification, personalized experiences and recommendations, virtual and augmented reality, themed pop-up stores, and among others.

In short, any format for creating entertaining experiences that focus on delighting consumers while driving the shopping process can and should be considered retail entertainment, whether in-store or online.

Let's understand how retail entertainment works

Think about how we feel when Spotify prepares a personalized recommendation when we discover new content on Instagram or even make arrangements for the latest Netflix marathon. These platforms pass on the feeling of being seen and they provide us with a constant stream of highly relevant and engaging content. Retailtainment combines these elements - the personalization, the content-based experiences, and the engaging format - with the joy and fun of shopping.

The end result is far more substantial than just a material purchase, and the memory of the experience leaves a more meaningful mark than a traditional shopping process. These experiences are often shared and recommended the more striking and engaging they are, driving customer acquisition and loyalty.

Examples of "Retailtainment" in stores

In-person retailing takes experiential retailing to its greatest level:

  • For example, the House of Vans in London is much more than shoe shopping. It is also a café, cinema, skateboard ramp, and live venue all in one. It is truly an entertainment venue thoughtfully designed around the interests and aesthetic preferences of Vans' customers.

  • Also in London is Farfetch's Store of the future, whose goal is perfect shopping. The luxury retailer uses augmented reality, emotion scanning software, and smart mirrors that allow customers to check their browsing history and wish lists at a glance, bringing the digital experience into the physical.

  • Nike is another pioneer of in-store entertainment retail, with a six-story physical store. Inside, inviting experiences such as a mini basketball court and fitness machines highlight the sneakers for sale and their performance in varying conditions.

Examples of "Retailtainment" in e-commerce

As we've talked about, the world of the internet is the most natural and powerful outlet for retail entertainment:

  • A great example is TOMS' VR technology, which shows shoppers the vision of as if they were in Peru, introducing them to children who received their first pair of TOMS shoes of the buy one pair and give one pair kind. This example combines the brand's core values with an emotional and immersive experience that makes shoppers feel even better about buying a pair of TOMS.

  • Great Jones, a kitchenware brand, has an SMS hotline to serve as a trusted source for pots and pans, recipes, and cooking tips, offering valuable on-demand content and noting that shoppers are open to having fun in a variety of ways.

  • Some brands are serving customers in a more popular online destination: gaming platforms. Drest allows players to become virtual stylists and judge different outfits put together in the game. Players' scores correspond to real-life rewards that can be used to buy pieces from 160 brands, including designer clothing. Skincare brand SK-II presents a realistic world like SimCity, featuring popular tourist spots in Japan.

The ways to make online shopping even more entertaining are limitless, as there are new and innovative tools being constantly developed, including personal shopping apps, personalized content and recommendations, live shopping, and video co-browsing.

How to make retail entertainment successful

Not every retail and entertainment effort will be a success among shoppers. You need to start by understanding how your target customers spend their leisure time - what apps they use, their favorite social networks, and the experiences they go out of their way to see in person. That way, you'll be prepared to create customer journeys that they actively anticipate.

Shopping experiences being driven by inspiration

When customers enter your site, you can help them focus their attention on inspiration galleries with image and video content that features your products. Make sure the content is highly visual, relatable, and exciting. Then make sure that the images and videos you are collecting, creating, and displaying can be purchased, so that you can capture the customer's intent at the very moment when inspiration strikes.

Authentic brand relationships

Create intimate experiences by authentically inviting buyers to become part of your brand. For example, you can take your customers on a behind-the-scenes tour of your store. Or you can feature real customers on your website to inspire familiarity, engagement, and connection. When potential buyers see themselves in the user-generated content you share, it not only entertains them but also builds trust in your products.

Retail Entertainment

In conclusion, the reason your customers are on your website, and not on your social media pages, is that they take shopping more seriously. So make shopping a seamless part of their entertainment - don't force them to stop videos, backtrack through inspiration galleries, or finish the game before they buy. Make product discovery and purchase an integral part of the content you create for your retail and entertainment strategy.

The bottom line is that retail is evolving rapidly and online shopping experiences will have to keep up. Retailtainment is a proven way to stand out in such a competitive environment by focusing closely on the customer experience.

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