Unique Shopping Experiences Are Changing the Retail World

retailtainment-2Keeping up with the various industry trends and innovations while meeting consumer needs in retail takes creativity and vision. While we’ve been experiencing tremendous advances in brick-and-mortar technology, the digital world is undoubtedly ahead in gaining consumer spending at a ferocious rate. According to First Insight, ecommerce experiencing nearly three-quarters (74.6%) of all gains in retail in 2020, the highest share of overall growth the sector has ever experienced. This propelled brick-and-mortar retailers more than ever to look for creative ways to leverage the upside that online competitors could not match: in-store experience. This year, as physical stores welcomed back shoppers, 64% of consumers indicated they would choose to buy from in-store because they wanted to see, touch, feel and try out products, according to Power Reviews, leaving brands searching for new ways to create engaging experiences. And rightfully so, as the desire for retail experiences is rising. In a survey conducted by GlobeSt.com, 52% of millennials said their spending goes towards experience-related purchases. This trend has been coined retailtainment, or immersive experiences that provide customers with fun, unique in-person moments elevating shopping to new heights. With this shift from features and benefits to experience rather than having all of it online or through other mediums, retailers are delivering what consumers are looking for: unique in-person experiences.

To be successful in retailtainment, retailers must satisfy consumers while focusing on driving sales and the bottom line.

pop-upThat’s where pop-ups and pop-ins (shop-in-shop) come in. Designed for quick access and consumption, these short-term activations, generally active for no more than 3 months and most likely a lot less, give new and existing brands a way to connect with target audiences without committing. This tactic aims to generate interest, create a sense of urgency because of the short tenancy, and get consumers to connect with a brand for a fun and memorable experience.

A key example can be found in the cosmetic industry, currently the leader in the pop-up shop trend, with the partnership between Kohl’s and Sephora. Truly embracing the concept, these brands create demand by hosting short-term, exclusive pop-in events. Malls are using pop-up shops to create physical retail opportunities for Etsy brands and other local and digital native products that otherwise would not have the opportunity. Consumers who are aware of a retailer’s online presence can now interact with the brand in a physical location and make local social connections.

Pop-ups are a captivating way to connect with consumers in the ever more crowded and competitive retail environment. They offer an enticing chance at leveraging FOMO (fear of missing out), making people feel like they’re missing something great. This translates into increased sales as consumers want what others have (or think they do)! The fleeting nature also appeals significantly due to its ephemeral qualities; these factors make pop-up experiences very appealing among customers providing them with a one-of-a-kind experience that they long for.


Linda FarhaLinda Farha
Founder and Chief Connector, pop-up go

Linda Farha is Founder and Chief Connector of space connector and pop-up facilitator, pop-up go. A brainchild of her marketing and communications company, Zenergy Communications, Linda was able to foresee the growth of temporary retail and experiential marketing events to create a platform to help both landlords and brands.

Linda is well-versed in the marketing, retail and property management landscape, working with some of North America’s most respected brands. With an insider’s perspective of the pop-up industry, Linda knows what it takes to connect the right people at the right time.

metamorphosis of retail

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