Warren Richmond
Warren Richmond 19 March 2021

What is Retailtainment and How can it Help your Business?

Retailtainment describes when entertainment is used as a retail marketing channel and tactic. The term was coined over 20 years ago by sociologist, George Ritzer, to describe the growing trend of “entertaining retailing” to attract and retain shoppers. He defines retailtainment as: “the use of sound, ambiance, emotion and activity to get customers interested in merchandise and in the mood to buy”.

Retail businesses may use one or many tactics to make the shopping experience more enjoyable, from in-store installations and pop-ups, to live demonstrations and performances.

What defines an experiential retail venue is its metric for success.

Rather than prioritising sales, these spaces are designed to enhance customer engagement and form meaningful connections which ultimately drive brand loyalty.

Through creative designs, textures, and narratives, brands can truly bring their personality and ethos to life, in a way that cannot be matched on a digital-only platform. 

By providing great retail experiences, customers are encouraged to engage with the brands, even after they’ve made a purchase. This provides long-term brand and revenue growth.

Why tap into this growing trend?

Yes, retailtainment provides a better experience for the consumer, but there are also huge benefits for the businesses that utilise this strategy.

1. Improved footfall and dwell time

Humans crave new experiences, engagement and meaning. Retail stores with an eye-catching and intriguing aesthetic will inevitably attract more passing traffic. While fresh, entertaining interior design will encourage people to stay longer to engage with the contents.

2. Enhanced brand loyalty

Customer experience plays a critical role in forming brand allegiance. An exceptional shopping experience will not only attract and entertain customers, but it will keep them coming back for more. Even better, once consumers feel emotionally connected to a brand or retailer, they often remain faithful and are not easily swayed by competitors

3. Increased sales

While the focus of retailtainment is not sales, by providing unparalleled experiences that consumers recall and recount to friends and family, brands can expect to see a significant uptick in sales as a result. When people hold and experience products, they are more likely to want to keep it as they already feel a sense of ownership over the item.

4. Word of mouth promotion

Satisfied customers are more likely to share and recommend their experiences to others. In a world of overwhelming choice, trusted word of mouth recommendations are what really cuts through the noise. In fact, 20 – 50 percent of all purchasing decisions are directly influenced by word of mouth.

5. Stand out from the competition

In the highly competitive online and offline retail space, it is not enough for retailers to simply address the needs of its target audience, they need to surpass all customer expectations. By utilising retailtainment strategies, venues can be transformed into a thrilling destination for prospective visitors.

6. Data gathering and analysis

Physical stores provide an unparalleled opportunity to collect qualitative and statistical data on customer shopping preferences and behaviour. In fact, it was the extensive technology and data analytics in shopping centres, which revealed the growing trend of people seeking experiences.

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