Retailtainment. It’s the term being tossed around just about everywhere right now, including on this very blog. Simply put, it’s the “use of ambience, emotion, sound and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise and in a mood to buy.” (thanks, Wikipedia). Even simpler put: it’s using entertainment to get customers into your store and ready to buy. With many companies (including Flonomics) putting so much focus on the tech side of retailtainment, it’s important to remember that customer entertainment doesn’t need to be high-tech. In fact, some of our favorite ways to boost foot traffic do not require any additional technology investment.
While we love new technology throughout our professional and personal lives, the truth is sometimes the old-school methods are still the most effective–and least costly–way to go. With this in mind, here are our favorite low-tech retailtainment tactics for the year ahead:
Enhance the in-store experience with snacks, or coffee, or beer (If local laws allow it)
If brick-and-mortar retailers hope to compete with e-commerce, it is now necessary to combat the benefits of online shopping: namely convenience and comfort.
To close the home-based, e-shopping gap, offer some of the comforts of home to make customers more relaxed. Partner with a local bakery to provide some small, non-messy finger foods, and coffee/tea/water/soda to enjoy while browsing.
Score some bonus points if the snacks fit the theme of your business or a marketing promotion: If your market is sporting goods, team up with a local energy bar producer; if you sell electronics or furniture, build a make your next movie night a blockbuster promotion with a sale on new TVs, surround sound systems or comfy couches, pulling the theme together with candy and movie theater-style popcorn (skip the greasy butter sauce though. Trust us on this)
Have an industry expert teach a class
If customers are entering your store every day, one can assume that at least some of them are interested in your industry beyond just what they can see behind a counter or on a showroom floor. With that in mind, contact a local expert in your field (or maybe you have one on your staff) to teach your customers about your industry or a related subject. Offer classes for free, and make them short–less than 90 minutes–and relatively basic. For example: if you run a coffee shop, offer a “farm to cup” class to educate customers what goes into making an excellent cup of coffee…with free samples, of course. Or better yet…
Hire a product expert to help customers find the perfect item they are looking for
This idea is nothing new–offering recommendations and helping customers to make the right purchase–but this service is often overlooked across the retail industry. Oft times in today’s retail-scape, the on staff product expert is the store manager or owner, and their ability to actually help customers gets lost in the madness of running a business.
But it really is true that your customers want this service. So this year, either commit to finding more time for one-on-one customer attention, or find an expert who can do it for you.
One distinct advantage that brick and mortar continues to have, is the ability for one-on-one, in-person recommendations and in that case, the ability to upsell. Let’s make sure we don’t lose it.
Make your in-store experience more instagram-friendly
Okay, so this tip is mostly low-tech, but let’s just go with it… Chances are your patrons, especially the younger generation, are more than willing to provide free insta-advertising by way of their social media feeds. And regardless of how one feels about it, social media recommendations are the new word-of-mouth advertising.
So what makes a store or its products instagram worthy? The answer is visual appeal: bright colors, flashy design, and eye-bursting content. Consider the social media splash Starbucks made in 2017 with the Unicorn Frappuccino. By many accounts the drink was terrible – read about celebrity chef reactions, but was still a huge success, aka people freaked out about it, because it was just so dang instagram-able.
But how can businesses that aren’t multi-national coffee conglomerates create something so insta-worthy? It’s easy: explore how your business can enhance the visual impact of either the store itself, the products for sale, or both. You could slap a coat of eye-catching paint on the storefront or hire a local artist to paint a mural that customers will just have to take a picture of. Work with one of your vendors to create a one-of-a-kind display that will get people talking. Overall, just find a way to elevate the experience and excite people–while staying true to your business identity and branding, of course—and they will reward you with instagram gold.
One way to make your business more instagram-friendly: free in-store wifi from Flonomics. Click here to learn more.
Tools to support your low- and high-tech foot traffic goals
At Flonomics, it is our pleasure to provide technology solutions for hundreds of retail partners on four continents that help boost their bottom line. From people counter technology to wifi marketing solutions, our products help to track and achieve our clients’ foot traffic goals.
To learn more about how Flonomics can boost your bottom line, contact us today or give us a call at 855-381-6109.