The trend that’s been making its way onto every 2018 trends list is about heightening the customer experience and exciting an increasing population of bored shoppers. Reacting to this trend will invigorate your shopper’s experience, create or strengthen loyalty, and amplify brand perception. So, what are you waiting for?
The truth is that there is a lot of retail space and a vast – but mostly mediocre, selection of products and brands on display in a setting that’s struggled to keep up with the times and retain customer excitement. E-commerce and online shopping are not the culprits of less interest in traditional retail stores, as only 3% of SA retail is accounted for by e-commerce. Bricks-and-mortar retail is not dying- it’s predicted that 85% of retail spend will still be in physical stores come 2025. Predominantly online stores like Amazon and YuppieChef have in fact opened physical outlets.
However, right now, surveys and studies show that South African shoppers are bored. They’re not saying they want an offline or online world, but they are looking for enhanced customer service and experience. This means that in-store and mall environments need to evolve.
There is a really exciting opportunity for landlords to turn traditional retail centres into mixed-use spaces, with more services and unique, tailored offerings rather than being destinations for just goods. The new generation shopper wants more than just stuff. The product should almost be seen as secondary.
Popup shops allow customers the chance to experience the product or concept you’re selling in ‘real life’, with the opportunity to ask questions and advice. This human engagement goes a long way to instil authenticity and to inspire a positive brand sentiment that delivers long-term value.
Experiences now outweigh things –
people are spending more money
on experiences than on material goods.