Inflation is a burden for consumers, but it also places a strain on retailers. When prices go up, shoppers tend to tighten budgets and become choosy when considering where to shop. The good news for retailers is that experiential marketing can overcome these challenges. When used correctly and purposefully, experiential marketing provides a customer experience that will get people talking and shoppers in the door.
Why Experiential Marketing Beats Retail Inflation Stress
Inflation often causes shoppers to become more mindful of where they spend their money, so retailers must focus on convincing customers to choose their stores over the competition. This can be done using lower prices, but your competition can lower prices too. So instead, encourage customers to shop at your store by delivering a hands-on, personal experience that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Experiential marketing can make this happen because it gives your store a chance to become a destination. Additionally, experiential marketing delivers confirmation that a product performs as advertised. Advertising can only go so far in convincing budget-conscious consumers to spend more, but letting shoppers check a product out in person through in-store marketing activities goes much further than an unboxing video or a neatly-crafted television commercial.
Who Uses Experiential Marketing?
Brands and retailers that include Costco, H&M, and Showfield’s have already demonstrated that experiential marketing is a crucial component of retail success. For example, Costco has its store demo and store sampling events, and Showfield’s stores are one big demo of products in and of themselves. H&M also relies on experiential marketing to promote its activewear line in New York, and the brand has seen a lot of success in using this form of retail marketing.
While your store may not have the means to create extravagant customer engagement zones, it can offer a memorable customer experience using experiential marketing. Below are some examples of experiential marketing ideas to drive more traffic, even during times of high inflation:
Rely on Your Vendors
Your vendors can provide a lot of assistance when it comes to putting together experiential marketing. Retailers can turn to CPG brands for access to assets that make execution easier, and you can also rely on retail marketing solutions like Demo Wizard to more efficiently manage your store’s vendor relationships when taking advantage of the field marketing CPG brands provide.
Encourage Community Days
Make a day out of shopping by promoting community days or “bring-a-friend” days. Offer small discounts or coupons to shoppers who show up with guests, and create picture stations around your store where shoppers can snap fun photos to share online.
Put on a Game Show
Create a fun game show where customers guess the ingredients or nutritional information contained in products. Customers can either write their answers on a whiteboard or fill out and turn in answer cards at your service desk. Answers are revealed one at a time over your store’s intercom system throughout the day, and small prizes can be awarded to winners or all participants.
Send Shoppers on a Quest
You can also turn your store into a big scavenger hunt that promotes low-cost products or private-label brands. Shoppers can take pictures to share on social media, and these pictures can be used to generate word of mouth marketing opportunities. This WOM marketing can go on to encourage others to think of your store first when deciding where to spend their money, and that makes a big difference when inflation is changing consumer spending habits.