Retailtainment: The Experiential Marketing Trend that’s Taking Over

Retailtainment: The Experiential Marketing Trend that’s Taking Over

Retailtainment: The Experiential Marketing Trend that’s Taking Over

  • On January 24, 2022

If your business is a part of the retail world, you know that it’s a competitive space for a number of reasons. The competition from online shopping and e-commerce has pushed retail businesses to continuously up their game and improve on every level, including in-store marketing and promotion. One innovative way of raising the bar is a concept called retailtainment: a strategy based on the idea that retail isn’t just an exchange of goods, but an experience.

Many retailers have already worked on defining what they want their brand’s retail experience to be in an evolving consumer market. If your establishment is interested in expanding its definition of in-store marketing, we’re taking the time to break down what this trend is and how your business could benefit.

What is Retailtainment and How Does it Work?

Retailtainment has emerged as a trendy buzzword, but what does it actually mean? Essentially, it’s a marketing strategy that seeks to provide entertainment-based retail experiences for shoppers.

The strategy can incorporate music, lighting, visual entertainment, advanced technology, etc. to create an immersive experience in an otherwise average retail store. In some instances, brands even create narratives and interactive experiences for shoppers. Retailtainment is about giving your target audience a reason to engage with your brand, instead of solely focusing on making sales. The goal is that by invigorating your customers with an inspiring and unique experience, increased sales will follow.

Retailtainment encourages an expansion of the customer experience. It’s a valuable way of marketing in-store because it highlights the one thing that online shopping doesn’t have: an in-person experience with value outside of just an exchange of goods. During that new and exciting retailtainment experience, you foster brand loyalty and stand out from the competition.

Examples of retailtainment can include in-store product demonstrations, interactive activities with products and staff, using emerging tech to create an innovative shopping experience for shoppers, and more. Depending on the size and resources of your business, a retailtainment strategy can involve something large scale like creating an immersive environment or smaller scale like adding interactive experiences.

Retailtainment is Raising the Bar for In-store Marketing

The world of retail marketing has always been innovative. As shopper preferences change and new trends rise, businesses evolve as well. While retail has always been a creative industry, merging an entertainment-focused marketing strategy allows companies to expand their creative horizons even further. 

The pandemic-induced appeal of experiential retail marketing is a major opportunity for businesses to jump on. After two years of lockdowns and cancelled events, people value new experiences more than ever. But raising the bar with in-store marketing is more than just an appeal to a passing trend; it’s a necessity.

While consumers value experiences, they’re also even more accustomed to the convenience of online shopping. Keeping the attention of shoppers who no longer have to rely on in-person shopping has been a growing priority for years, but the pandemic seems to have accelerated the need to prioritize innovation in retail.

Why You Need a Retailtainment Strategy

For a lot of retail businesses out there, the concept of retailtainment is new and perhaps a bit intimidating. If your brand awareness has relied on traditional strategies, you might feel some reluctance to transition to something unfamiliar. Remember that there’s always room for growth and you might not know your strategy needed to include retailtainment. So what are the benefits of having an entertainment-oriented strategy?

Keep customers interested in in-store shopping 

As digital shopping continues to grow in prominence, it’s important for businesses who want to maintain their brick and mortar store fronts to offer experiences that online shopping can’t. In the wake of the pandemic, when most people have been home more often than not, experiences outside of the home are highly valued.

Appeal to a new generation of shoppers 

Behind every trend is a generation of consumers who are the driving force of that trend. While millennials are not exactly a “new” generation anymore (all of them are well into adulthood) they are now the generation with the most buying power, and will remain that way for some time. 

One value that sets millennials apart from their senior counterparts is the prioritization of experiences over products. That’s not to say that millennials don’t buy products, but that they’re more inclined to invest in your brand (and actually visit your store) if it offers an experience. If you factor in the growing influence of Gen Z preferences, these kinds of retail experiences will only grow in demand over the coming years.

An enhanced retail experience 

A key part of any experiential marketing strategy in retail involves implementing efficiencies and customizations for the benefit of shoppers. If your new strategy cuts down on any retail-related friction, shoppers will remember your brand as a satisfying and frustration-free experience.

What Could Retailtainment Look Like for You?

If you need guidance for how to get started on developing an experiential marketing strategy, here are some ideas and tips for working retailtainment into your brand:

  • Display original content: Whether you create videos, graphics, or any other visual content that will entertain and teach shoppers about your product, your original ideas have the most value against what others might be doing.  Don’t be afraid to stretch your creative muscles and identify experiences that pair well with your target audience.
  • Social media: Find a way to incorporate social media into your retail shopping experience. For example, if your store is a clothing boutique, encourage customers to share photos and experiences wearing your store’s clothes. Displaying examples of positive interactions with your brand is an effective union of entertainment and messaging. It also helps shoppers feel like they’re part of a larger shared experience related to your brand.
  • Display live TV:  Detractors keeping shoppers from coming to brick and mortar stores include long lines and wait times. One way to remedy this issue is to leverage signage displays to shorten perceived wait times. If shoppers can watch a sports game, the news, etc. while they’re waiting, they’ll have a more enjoyable experience in your store and won’t feel like they’re waiting as long. 
  • Pop-up stores: If you’re a growing brand aiming to branch out and establish more physical store locations, or even trying to work up to your first store location, doing pop-up events is a great way to provide a fun retail experience for retailers while getting your brand name out there with shoppers. Even larger chain stores use this tactic to give a marketing boost to promote a new product, collection, event, etc.

Retailtainment with Digital Signage

When a business is in the process of creating an experiential retail space, one component you can’t leave out is acquiring the right hardware. While every business undoubtedly has their own interpretation of what constitutes retailtainment, it’s fairly common for technology to be an essential component of the plan. Giving your customers an experience with advanced digital signage technology in stores is a popular way to add more entertainment-based messaging into your retail space.

Digital signage technology offers a diverse collection of screen options for retail use that will enhance the retail store experience for shoppers.

Types of signage available for retail use:

  • Interactive signage: Touch screen technology such as kiosks are an effective way to add an experiential factor to your retail store. Many consumers are often eager to interact with new tech when presented the opportunity. And if something like touch screen signage makes their shopping experience more enjoyable, their visit is more likely to be a memorable experience.
  • Digital menu board: While digital menu boards are more prominent in the restaurant business, there’s no reason to keep them out of the retail industry. Menu boards in grocery store delis, for example, create experiential product displays that entice customers.
  • In-window unit: Window displays set the tone that your store invests in creating a visual experience from the moment shoppers walk up to your window. Take advantage of the fact that digital content is easier and faster for the human brain to process by drawing shoppers into your store with digital signage.
  • Video wall: If you’re going for a retail experience that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression, video walls are the way to go. A screen spanning the width and height of an entire wall is an experience your shoppers will remember.

Transitioning to Digital Signage

Making the switch to new strategies and tools can be a lot for a business to take on, but you don’t have to be in it alone. Digital signage companies, including Keyser, offer signage services that help make that transition to a more advanced messaging strategy smoother. We’re here to help you ensure that investing in your growth will actually turn out beneficial.

  • Installation Services: While some businesses opt for the DIY signage and installation route, we certainly don’t recommend it. Advanced signage requires an expert’s know-how to ensure that your new investment is installed and working properly. Keyser takes care of scheduling, logistics, permit acquisitions, and labor involved in signage installation so you don’t have to.
  • Maintenance Services: Whether you encounter a performance issue with your signage display or it’s been damaged, Keyser is available to solve the problem and get your signage back in shape for business hours.
  • Design Services: Designing digital content that will play a part in creating a retail experience for your shoppers may be a new endeavor for many retail businesses, especially the ones that don’t have large marketing budgets or in-house graphic designers. That’s why it’s smart to invest in a signage service that offers guidance with this part of the process. If you have an idea for what visuals may fit your brand experience, our experts can help you fully develop that idea into eye-catching digital content.
  • CMS: Innovative hardware should be paired with software that’s compatible with the technology, as well as your own business needs. Keyser helps you identify and implement easy-to-use digital signage software that will be an essential tool in managing digital content.

Take the Next Steps with Keyser

If your business is considering taking the next step in retail messaging, contact Keyser today to learn more about retailtainment with digital signage. Our experts will get you started on your transition to leveraging signage solutions to grow your retail business.


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