That’s retail-tainment…

We’re now in an era when the “omnichanneller” – a shopper who uses various channels (mobile, online, bricks and mortar) before making a purchase – is the most common type of consumer. In fact, according to a recent report by HBR, 73 per cent of us now use several channels across our purchasing journey. And while you might think the decline of the high-street is the fault of the “omnichanneller”, it’s not.

In fact, shoppers who research prices online prior to their visit spend on average 13 per cent more in-store, and further to this will make around 23 per cent more repeat visits than a single channel shopper within a six-month period.

The findings of the report do not suggest that retailers should ignore online platforms, but they do go some way in explaining why retailers are currently placing a massive focus on in-store innovation and enhancing the physical shopping experience.

‘Retailtainment’ – retail marketing as entertainment – is a concept that’s been cropping up more and more lately. In the last few weeks we’ve had Next suggest that it is going to launch in-store prosecco bars and hair salons, John Lewis invite shoppers to sleep over in an exclusive in-store apartment and Ikea announce that it will be hosting a week-long house party to celebrate its 30th birthday. Meanwhile, Apple has said that its new stores are to be called ‘Town Squares’, as part of a new innovative approach to psychical retail; the stores will be a cross between a retail store and an education centre.

Retailtainment appears to be becoming the marketing method of choice to entice shoppers back in store. I expect that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this trend in the run up to Christmas – by making shop visits more interactive, personalised and immersive, retailers will ultimately drive customer spend and loyalty.