Conventional wisdom suggests the primary goal of retail displays is to promote merchandise. Some modern businesses, however, buck standards and create in-store visuals and tableaus that places marketing on the back burner while providing consumers with a unique reason to visit the space. The visual displays may be nostalgic, interactive or creative, but they're almost always fun.
Time magazine recently shared a list of retail displays that leveraged technology for customer engagement. The majority of the stores detailed offered touch screens or other innovations to introduce consumers to products. One video game company provided a shopping center with a giant interactive display free to the public. Instead of displaying merchandise, the business chose to encourage visits through a unique experience rather than showing actual gameplay.
"Stores attract shoppers by ignoring the common rules for display."
Offering shoppers displays they can't find anywhere else turns a store into a destination when shoppers seek an adventure. Racked explained how Anthropologie attracted shoppers by ignoring the common rules for display. Mis-matching apparel fixtures and products shelved without rhyme or reason promote discovery. Customers come in to explore, rather than shop.
Experience-based displays encourage patronage instead of visual merchandising. Some stores prioritize getting customers into the space over promoting particular products. This proves especially prevalent as companies look for new ways to demonstrate the advantage of physical stores over digital options.
While a company may not have the space or resources to provide experience displays throughout the year, certain seasons offer opportunities for trying new approaches. Omaha.com shared the story of a local furniture store that provided customers with a chance to walk through the set of a Christmas movie. Holiday shoppers often prefer businesses that can provide them with an experience as unique as the season.
This Christmas, stores might want to bring out a temporary display that provides visitors with fun instead of marketing. Seeing how shoppers react could help organizations recognize how to offer both in the future.