Is Experiential Marketing the Future of Retail?

The COVID-19 pandemic, on a fundamental level, changed how in-person commerce works. As everyone felt the necessity to do their shopping online, it cast in sharp relief the unique differences between shopping from home and in-person. As this article from Inc mentions, “retail marketing has become less about savings and more about the experience,” meaning in-person shopping must focus around the activity of shopping and all that comes with it, rather than the simple elements of price and convenience.

While Coronavirus has expedited this change in commerce, it isn’t entirely unprecedented. The entire 2010s saw the rise of online shopping juggernauts like Amazon, forcing brick and mortar stores to develop new ways to continue bringing in shoppers. We can already see new methods being developed in trends like pop-up shops, which are used “to generate as much hype as possible, often in tandem with the launch of a new product. This process allows businesses to move inventory and increase hype around a brand.” The limited nature of temporary pop-up shops gives customers a strong incentive to make their way out to the store, and the novelty of a temporary store in a populated location creates an experience to be shared, with customers shopping as a means to not be left out.

However, experiential marketing — while often supporting physical retail establishments — does not need to be relegated to the in-person. In fact, the experience of shopping can continue online, motivating customers to return with incentives, surveys and calls to action. We at Impactree have crafted experiences for our customers around this belief, combining the experience of in-person shopping with online action initiatives. With simple in-store QR codes, your customers can quickly find your company’s own branded action hub, leading them to a curated list of actions and causes close to your company’s purpose.

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