you can't beat experiences - Retail7
Retail7 is an in-store marketing agency, specialising in consumer electronics. We pride ourselves on having the best people and data insight in the business.
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you can’t beat experiences

According to a recent survey by Eventbrite, when it comes to money, “experiences” are now more desirable than “things”. This is a trend that has recently boomed as a result of a new, adventurous generation. A whopping 78% of millennials who were surveyed said they would choose to spend their money on an experience or event over buying something desirable.

The differences between new products (especially tech) is gradually decreasing; so really, is there any point spending £500 on a “new” phone which is maybe just a little bigger, or a fraction faster than the one you have now? Instead of spending money on something materialistic, the new generation would rather invest in something that will improve how rounded they are as an individual.

Impact of social media

With 35 million users of social media in the UK alone, it’s no great surprise that millennials are using their money for “experiences” rather than “things”. With easily accessible platforms at the touch of a button or the swipe of a finger, consumers undergo the FOMO (fear of missing out) on experiences or events that they see online. This is notably true in terms of millennials, who want to show others that they’re at the most hip festival, as well as wanting to connect with other social media users that are there too. This way of flaunting is considered more unique, as each person’s experience is varied. Shared consumption connects consumers on a physical level, whereas shared experiences connect us on a social level. This is becoming increasingly important in the world of retail, in fact, 72% say in the next year, they are likely to increase their spending on experiences rather than physical things.

Big brands such as GoPro will bask in this consumer behaviour, advertising limitless possibilities such as skydiving, paintballing and skiing. Their product isn’t just a purchase; it’s an open window for you to discover new experiences you can film and show to other people. (I mean, if you didn’t Instagram it, were you really there?). As a consequence, some retail brands are beginning to struggle, and it’s becoming increasingly challenging to make the in-store visit more rewarding than ordering something online in your pyjamas.

New retail experiences

So, how are retailers fighting back? They are making your purchase an experience in itself. This way, the customer gets the satisfaction of a product, as well as the excitement of an experience. Stores are now becoming destinations, where consumers want to come for inspiration and ideas. Take a look at the new John Lewis store flagship in Leeds, for example. Here, customers can grind and taste their own coffee, get immersed in a demo of the latest Bose speakers, design a new living room using their home design service and then take the weight off their feet with a pedicure in one of their & Beauty brand treatment rooms. John Lewis recognise the customer may ultimately end up buying some things online, but they’re hoping that the in-store experience you had will ensure you end up buying it from their website and not someone else’s.

Pop-up shops are another recent phenomenon that uses the power of experience to win the hearts and minds of shoppers. Even eating the humble Kit-Kat bar hasn’t escaped being made in to an ‘experience’, with a pop-up shop recently running in Westfield Stratford, where visitors could customise their favourite bar in a variety of different flavours, including dandelion and burdock and chilli and mint, which have been inspired by Michelin starred Chef Michael O’Hare. You could even design your own packaging.

Time to experience Retail7

Retailers and brands that put the effort into creating unique and memorable experiences that make their customers feel special, will ultimately reap the rewards with increased loyalty and positive brand awareness.

This is something we’ve been focusing on for many years now with our tech clients, helping to create better customer experiences in-store, using our award winning training approach that ensures our people are perfectly aligned to the retailers and brands they represent.

Contact Andy Boothroyd at Retail7 at to see how we can use experiences to help improve your retail performance in 2017.

Interested in attending our free masterclass ‘using intelligence to win the retail war’? Click here to register 

Andy Boothroyd