With the holiday shopping season in full swing, retailers are looking for new ways to engage with customers, beyond the lure of Black Friday sales. The National Retail Federation predicts that consumers will spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday shopping season – slightly down from 2015, but still higher than in past years.
It’s no secret that brick-and-mortar retailers are reinventing themselves, going beyond on the transaction, and delivering a new customer experience for consumers. For example, Nike recently opened a new 55,000 sq. ft. SoHo location, designed to create a seamless link between digital and live experience.
Several North Highlanders recently had the opportunity to experience this firsthand by attending a Fete with Friends event at Tory Burch at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta. The Fete with Friends allows the consumer to experience the brand firsthand and socialize with friends and colleagues, while also receiving personalized attention from the store associates.
The in-store experience is less about moving product, and more about the tactile experience with the brand and a sense of community, an approach taken by the company for the launch of its TorySport line earlier this this year.
The Fete with Friends also taps into the power of influencers, with one friend taking the lead and inviting others. Some in attendance were very familiar with Tory Burch, and others had never set foot in a store. Instead of learning about the brand by reading reviews online, or feeling like it was a sales pitch, we heard about other’s love for the brand. This low-pressure approach encouraged questions and generated an excitement that was contagious – as evidenced by our giant shopping bags!
The combination of a powerful in-store experience, community creation and influencer engagement creates a triple threat for retailers. Those that take advantage of this will be the ones that continue to come out on top once the receipts are tallied in January.
This post was co-authored by Jennifer Marsh. With more than a decade in strategic communications, including public relations, advertising and marketing, Jennifer specializes in helping companies communicate their story to external and internal audiences. Previous work includes 10 years of global agency experience, leading multi-national Fortune 500 accounts, with a focus on retail/CPG and B2B professional services.