With the ongoing challenge of integrating online and offline experiences, the role of the brick-and-mortar store is evolving. Not all in-store experiences need to end in a purchase, but they do need to provide a purpose for the consumer – a purpose that activates emotional engagement and creates customer loyalty.
Providing a purpose not a purchase is creating a space that is educational and not necessarily promotional. It’s displays that allow the customer to engage with and experience the product in a similar environment to where it is normally used. It’s in-store experiences that create an emotional connection with the brand.
Read on for inspirational examples of brands creating meaningful in-store experiences.
- Experiential engagement -
Dyson has opened its first retail store which aims to educate the public about the technology behind their products via displays that encourage customer interaction. Spread over 2 floors, it is the only place where customers can get hands-on with the latest Dyson technology, go “behind the scenes” to see what happens in the company’s engineering labs and get advice on how to get the best out of each Dyson product. There’s even a hair salon with an in-store stylist!
- Inspirational involvement -
Sonos also recently branched out with the opening of their first storefront in New York. Featuring 7 central listening rooms and 2 lounge areas, each with their own look&feel, it allows customers to experience their range of smart home sound systems. They can also choose their own music via Spotify or Apple Music. The soundproof pods successfully recreate the “at home” experience which further emphasises an emotional connection to the brand.
- Emotive education -
When opening the first American “Lululemon Lab” in the trendy NoHo, it was designed with the local community in mind to create a neighbourhood hub with inspired touches. In addition to the sleek retail boutique, it features a studio where 15 designers and pattern makers work live. It creates a sense of emotive education for customers as they can see the creative process and it adds an element of exclusivity for the products that are produced.
- Unconventional experiences -
The first Seat “Concept Store” was designed in response to the changes in automotive consumers’ path to purchase. The store’s theme of “spirited spaces and warm welcomes”, successfully combines a next gen showroom with digital technology. Consumers choose how to engage with purchase process via digital info hubs or a test drive in the “Experience Centre”. The use of natural materials, a Mediterranean colour palette and a Gaudi-esque bench complete with real olive tree, create an unconventional automotive in-store experience.