2018 Trends For Retailers

One of the most successful emerging retail trends from 2017 that has continued through 2018, is the rise of the offsite customer experience.

Reducing the burden of multiple costly long-term leases, combined with the agility of hiring event or promotional space to interact with customers has pushed this trend into focus and it shows no sign of stopping.


Changing Business Models of Retail

With many brands reducing the number of permanent bricks and mortar stores and increasing their warehousing facility to support online growth, one of the main challenges of this type of retail model is that their branding is no longer on every high street and face to face interactions with customers are diminishing.

This is exacerbated by the changing demands of customers who want to have exclusive and personal experiences with the brands they choose to purchase from. Gathering customer opinions, testing new ideas and new products on them is no longer an easy thing to manage and even product, season or range launches that once took place in stores don’t have the impact they did.

Responding to Change

Fortunately responding to new customer demands, adapting to new customer focused retail trends, and finding new ways to reach your target demographic has never had so many options! Many brands and retailers are embracing the trend of offering great customer experiences outside of their physical stores. These can be in a range of venues, and as promotional and event space consultants Place Experts can support a strategy to get brands seen in the right promo spaces across the UK.

Understanding the importance of offering offsite interactions that feed into an overall marketing and promotion plan that links offsite experiences, with online retail and physical stores is crucial to keeping your brand relevant and in step with customers’ expectations. While the demand for multiple bricks and mortar retail stores is reducing, the demand for promo space, event space, and unique concessions is only increasing!

Creating the Face to Face Experience

To get people noticing and talking about your brand you need to be in a visible place where they can find you and then deliver an experience they will remember!

Whether that’s launching your latest fashion collection in an event venue, (rather than a store) where you invite loyal customers or competition winners along with the media to give them a VIP experience worthy of making Instagram go crazy. Or whether that is taking a niche section of your offering in its own presentation at a pop up stand in a shopping centre to get some face to face reaction on its appeal for future development and gather customer data for future marketing.

Maybe you want your products to be seen in a certain way so linking up with festivals that match it is a great way to develop the buzz around your brand. Considering sponsorship opportunities along with live pop up stands with selected targeted products for sale is one way. Or perhaps even festival experiences like a pop-up beauty bar, hair salon or hot tub area to promote your brand while giving a great face to face experience with your target demographic is a great way to get out there.

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Linking Experiential with Traditional

Ensuring your brand is seen in a positive light is essential, as is the development of your face to face experience into brand and sales development. Using these new forms of interaction and utilising the power of social media is a great way to add extra dimensions to a traditional bricks and mortar retail environment.

Ensuring there is follow up with the customers including offering discount codes or vouchers to be used in stores or extra credit for sharing or reviewing their experiences. Hopefully the next time you offer an experience your customers are not just noticing you but are looking forward to seeing you there!

Venue Selection is Key

To do this you have to source some really great venues, concession stands or spaces that can accommodate your pop up that also match with the experience you want to deliver – Place Experts can help you with that!

If your brand needs to branch out and meet new customers, contact Place Experts to discuss your ideas and get in the spaces to be seen in 2018/19.