These days, it seems like it’s not enough to set up a retail location that fulfills only the single goal of selling products. Some retailers are finding ways to re-brand the customer experience by adding social value to the retail location.
Just look at some retailers that sell high-end yoga and athletic gear. Many retail locations offer a free, weekly in-store yoga session with a rotating schedule of instructors, to encourage customers to come in, boost their endorphins, socialize, and check out the latest additions to the merchandise lineup. There are also shops adding coffee, craft brews, or wine to the menu so customers can sip a refreshing beverage while browsing.
Transforming the retail space into a social hangout is no longer an oddity—it has become a way of life for retailers looking to hook the fickle millennial demographic with crowd-pleasing, social extras. How can you get in on the movement? Here are a few tips to get you started.
Create a Social Atmosphere
If you want people to hang out in your store and socialize, you need to provide more than a single, janky stool in the corner or outside a changing room. Creating a social environment means finding ways to encourage people to stay in your store.
A section of your store that features a beverage cart surrounded by cafe tables or lounge seating is one possible option, and adding free WiFi is a must these days. Depending on the type of retail store you run, you could also create a kid zone or make your store pet-friendly as a way to encourage shoppers to stay and socialize.
The longer shoppers stay in your store, the more likely they are to make purchases. When they feel comfortable in your social space, you’ll probably see repeat visitors, not to mention patrons bringing their friends to enjoy the social/retail space you’ve created.
Planning Social Events
You might not feel comfortable allowing customers to walk around your store with beverages that could easily spill and damage pricy items on display. In this case, you might want to focus your social strategy on events rather than around-the-clock lounge accommodations.
Some retailers invite valued patrons to participate in off-hours fashions shows, modeling their favorite purchases for prospective customers at swanky, evening events for the wine-and-cheese crowd, with discounts granted for models, attendees, or both. You could also host open-box demo events or workshops where customers can come in and try before they buy.
You might also schedule weekend yoga classes or fun runs. How about hosting movie screenings or in-store dance nights hosted by local DJs and mixologists? You’ll have to consider events that are most likely to add value for your customers and complement your brand, but this could be a great way to invite the community in, especially when you partner with like-minded professionals in your area.
Promote on Social Media
What’s more social than social media? If you’re going to add value for customers by transforming your retail space into a social destination, make sure to promote accordingly on your social media accounts. Social media in and of itself is a social hangout. Social media allows you to promote events, as you can actually interact with customers and learn about ideas they may have for your brand. At Specialty Store Services we have a variety of Customized Social Media Posters and Banners.
If you are a retailer who would like more information on Signage, you can shop for all your needs on our website, Specialty Store Services, and if you have a question that you would like an immediate answer, you can Live Chat, or phone us at 800-999-0771.