When popular British fashion brand Topshop announced the closure of its last physical outlet in Singapore, many lamented the move as an inevitable one given the technological disruptions faced by many retailers today. Similar to Topshop, many businesses have decided to shut down their physical outlets and shift their focus to e-commerce platforms instead in recent years. With growing competition arising from e-commerce and changing consumer habits, an increasing number of retailers have faced a sharp drop in revenue at their physical stores. Furthermore, new Covid-19 restrictions have accelerated the move to online shopping at a pace like never before. The additional challenge of a substantial decrease in footfall at physical stores has worsened the struggle for many businesses. In light of the multiple obstacles faced by the retail industry, it can be tempting for us to conclude the inevitable fate of retailers regarding the closure of their physical stores.
However, in spite of these difficulties, some brands have expanded their operations with the opening of new physical outlets even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. For instance, furniture retailers such as Ikea opened its third store in Jem and Courts is set to open its largest store to date in Orchard next year. Despite a challenging retail climate, some retailers have proven to still be capable of actively thriving and growing their business. Nonetheless, the rules for retailers have changed in the digital age we live in today. With technological disruptions and changing consumer needs, businesses need to reimagine the way physical stores are designed in this day and age.
With the rise of e-commerce platforms, shoppers have access to a wide range of products and choices all from a mobile device. Given how transactions can be easily carried out online, businesses need to rethink the purpose of physical stores today. Research studies have shown how a growing number of consumers are beginning to prefer experiences to goods. Given these emerging trends, the future of retail is set to belong to businesses who transform customer experiences with retailtainment.
Retailtainment? What’s that?
(Source: Fresh Relevance)
Retailtainment refers to how two concepts, retail and entertainment, are combined to create an engaging experience for customers. With the aim of providing customers an exciting in-store encounter, retailtainment elevates the customer experience like no other. More than just a simple transaction, retailtainment redefines the way brands use their physical spaces to interact with customers.
Beyond attracting customers to actively engage with your brand, retailtainment can help create a memorable experience for your customers. With an exciting retail space, customers will be encouraged to spend more time in your stores. Furthermore, retailtainment can be a key way for brands to differentiate themselves from other competitors.
Transforming in-store experiences with Retailtainment
To stay ahead of trends, some businesses have adapted their retail spaces to create engaging Retailtainment opportunities for their customers.
Ikea at Jem, Singapore
(Source: Home Decor)
Worried about keeping your children entertained while you are shopping for your new sofa? Don’t worry, Ikea’s digital interactive wall will keep your children busy so you can shop with a peace of mind. Using motion sensors and interactive media content, children can have fun by waving their hands and legs to colour the picture projected on the wall.
To allow customers to access information about Ikea’s products in a fuss-free manner, digital tablets are conveniently located on every storey of the outlet. Additionally, there is a DIY sofa design tool available on the tablet for customers to personalise their furniture according to their own needs. Furthermore, beam projections on various Ikea products help to emphasize the interesting features of a specific piece of furniture.
Decathlon Singapore Lab
For sporting goods retailer Decathlon, the opportunity for customers to test out their products were essential in creating an exciting retail experience. This explains the development of product test zones in their flagship store, such as a basketball court, a mini pool and a running track. Beyond trying out Decathlon’s products in a simulated environment, there are many sporting events or workshops customers can sign up for. To complete the holistic customer experience, Decathlon even serves healthy and nutritious food at their very own in-store cafe. With a wide range of activities available, the sports retailer offers a unique experience for every customer. Furthermore, each experience serves to complement Decathlon’s goal of promoting sports as a key part of a healthy lifestyle.
Adidas at Oxford Street, London
(Source: Inside Retail)
In Adidas’ London store, customers will surely be blown away by the exciting digital Retailtainment experience the sports retailer offers. Using technology and digital touchpoints, Adidas makes shopping easy and fuss-free for their customers. For instance, their smart fitting rooms are designed with interactive mirrors which use RFID technology to detect the clothing customers bring into the room. Once this is detected, item-specific information will be displayed on the mirror for customers to browse through. Additionally, customers can use the interactive mirror to ask for assistance or request for particular items to be brought to them without stepping out of the room at all. Other digital innovations include the ‘bring it to me’ feature in the Adidas app which uses in-store geolocation tracking to allow customers to scan and purchase products on the spot without having to spend time queueing up to collect their items.
Love, Bonito Funan Store
(Source: SG Magazine)
When local fashion label Love, Bonito opened its new store in Funan Mall, the brand was determined to redefine retail by offering a refreshing in-store experience for their customers. For instance, the store features an Augmented Reality walkway where customers can snap photos with beautiful virtual flowers or butterflies. Furthermore, the popular infinity mirror gives digitally savvy customers an opportunity to strike a pose for their Instagram-worthy photo. To form a close-knit Love, Bonito community, the brand has built a community room to host events for their customers. From offering styling tips to even advice on motherhood, these events aim to empower participants with knowledge on a wide range of topics. Lastly, personal stylists are available to offer customers a personalised retail experience with their expert fashion advice. Taking an integrated approach to appeal to the needs of their customers, Love, Bonito provides an exciting retailtainment experience.
Developing Retailtainment Opportunities
To elevate their in-store customer experience, Trinax has collaborated with various brands to develop retailtainment opportunities.
Canon’s Interactive Retail Concierge
(Source: Canon Interactive Retail Concierge, developed by Trinax)
Enter Canon’s retail store and meet your new store assistant, Val. As an AI robot powered with voice recognition capabilities, Val helps you to easily browse through Canon’s product catalogue upon your spoken requests. Using a large LED touchscreen, customers can view a gallery of images and information regarding Canon’s products and promotions clearly. Alternatively, customers can utilise the touchscreen capabilities to learn more about Canon’s latest offerings. With a technologically advanced store set-up, Trinax’s development of an Interactive Retail Concierge for Canon’s new outlet offered customers a refreshing in-store experience.
CooperVision’s Interactive RFID Table
(Source: CooperVision’s Interactive RFID Table, developed by Trinax)
With an aim to raise awareness of the harmful implications of myopia, Trinax partnered with CooperVision to develop an Interactive RFID Table for users to learn more about this illness. The RFID Table consists of various movable objects, each decorated with different decals about myopia. Upon raising the objects located on the table, installations will be activated to display specific details to users on an LED screen. Using fun and interactive elements, this hands-on experience helped to actively engage users in the process of learning more about myopia.
Getting Ready for the Rise of Retailtainment
Given the numerous changes experienced by retailers, it is important for brands to swiftly adapt to these disruptions to meet the needs of their customers. As a specialist in developing interactive digital experiences built on an omni-channel framework, Trinax can partner with you to create your next retailtainment experience. Build your next retailtainment experience with us today and stay in touch for collaboration opportunities.
Here are some inspirations for Retailtainment: