Bringing This Year’s Retail Trends to Life

January 3, 2017

Daymon recently released its predictions for the four forces that will redefine retail in 2017. Many of these forces are based on ever-evolving consumer needs and preferences, making experiential marketing an ideal tool to bring the trends to life. From tapping into the participatory shopper to delivering convenience on-demand, Creative Director Ryan James Dee says there’s a way for every retailer and brand to get involved.

One of the easiest trends to capitalize on is fostering shopper collaboration and participation. That’s because the audience is already made up of willing participants. “Shoppers want to experience products more than just seeing them or tasting them,” says Dee.

“Retailers and brands can encourage greater shopper participation in simple ways like having shoppers create their own samples—like a signature bruschetta custom crafted from a selection of ingredients from the bakery, produce, deli, and center store departments,” he suggests. “Or they can deliver more intense and immersive experiences through events like in-store cooking classes or sensory programs.” These not only engage shoppers and invite them to become co-collaborators, they also provide a direct feedback loop for retailers and brands.

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Immersive experiences like in-store cooking classes and sensory programs engage shoppers and invite them to become co-collaborators, while also providing a direct feedback loop for retailers and brands.

Retailers can use experiential marketing to create a destination for shoppers as well. Regular events that are targeted to the needs of consumers that make up the communities retailers operate in can help create a narrative for their stores, says Dee. “This is where stores need to know their shoppers and consumers. They have to reflect the communities they serve.”

Dee suggests, for example, that stores in communities where wellness ranks high can host events with certified nutritionists, who can talk with shoppers about the trends and products that might be right for their needs. Similarly, in urban areas where the restaurant scene is hot, creating an in-store chef personality who offers regular recommendations can create a reason for customers to return.

Looking at targeting precision wellness in grocery, Dee suggests retailers and brands highlight the benefits of functional foods—those that are not only good for your body, but can also be used for other purposes. For example, a Brand Ambassador could share samples of organic oats or Manuka honey with shoppers, and also show them how it can be used topically to treat dry skin or mild acne.

When it comes to redefining convenience, Dee notes that, “it’s important people unlearn what they think they know about convenience. It’s not about slushies and microwave burritos anymore. It’s about shoppers getting what they want quickly and easily—without sacrificing quality.” He suggests retailers consider meal creation events that pair in-store products with proven recipes to make deciding   what’s for dinner effortless. Programs that highlight what’s new, most popular, or what amenities are available in-store can also offer the convenience consumers are looking for.

If targeting all four of these trends seems overwhelming, Dee suggests retailers focus on creating a destination as their top priority. “This is really where retailers can differentiate themselves from online competition. If you make the case compelling enough that shoppers won’t go elsewhere—that’s a success.”

To learn more about partnering with Interactions to bring these and other trends to life, contact Lindsay Steller, Director of Sales & Marketing, at lsteller@daymon.com.

 

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