Michael Baird

‘Customers need store theatrics’, says consultant

The emerging trend of ‘store theatrics’ can present an opportunity for KBB retailers to make a difference through in-store shopper experiences, a retail consultant has argued.

Research has shown that consumers are becoming numb to static campaign imagery and, with YouTube being the fastest-growing social media platform, dealers need to inject more movement into the narrative of their displays, claimed Michael Baird (pictured), design director at retail and brand consultancy Fitch.

Speaking at the kbbreview Retail and Design Conference at kbb Birmingham, Baird said: “Today’s best store windows are alive with active brand content, impactful motion graphics, clever composition, and interactive storytelling, capturing the unique selling points and creating strong pulling power.”

Dealers also need to create a unique personal experience for the consumer.

Part of a customer’s journey would have likely involved visiting a dealer’s social channels as part of their aspirational research, Baird said, so dealers need to ensure their digital and physical experiences feel familiar and are useful.

“The great thing about digital, when combined well with analogue experiences, is that you can create a unique personal focus for people that appeals to their needs,” he added.

He also advised selecting technology that avoids creating ‘noise’ and unnecessary barriers in the shopping process.

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The key, he suggested, is finding the right way to seamlessly integrate the world of digital, including virtual or augmented reality, into the shopping experience.

When these key elements are considered, Baird claimed that the stage would be set for effective and inspiring retail theatre.

“With careful consideration, physical retail spaces offer today’s consumers the opportunity to engage first-hand with your product,” he said. “While digital touch-points allow a much-needed platform for continuity, the physical retail space holds ‘real’ expectations that online activity cannot compete with.”

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