Consumers want an experience. Do you offer one?
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Do you value experiences or physical possessions more? Do you prefer the luxury name brand or the brand that positively affects the community? Chances are you value experiences and prefer brands that benefit the community.
In the short time that millennials have been an influential part of society, they have made a significant impact on the way we live. Their view of the world is different than any other generation because of technology — and they desire what technology cannot provide. Now, the millennial influence has spread to the other generations and is throwing practically every industry a curveball.
The housing industry was thrown for a loop with the creation of tiny houses. The transportation industry had to adapt to ride-sharing as well as new technologies and fuels to power vehicles. The retail industry was shaken up with millennials desire for experiences, not "stuff."
Retailers now have the task of selling to consumers who don’t "seem to enjoy purchasing things," according to Fast Company. In the past, people enjoyed purchasing luxury items. It was a sign of significance and class. Buying luxury items in and of itself was the experience shoppers desired.
However, this has become "boring" and doesn’t bring the excitement and unique experience today’s consumer desires. In fact, the entire millennial movement has caused luxury retailers to decline and even go out of business in some cases.
What do consumers want? What will make them your customer? Give them an experience.
According to a study conducted by Harris, "consumers born between 1980 and 1996 are fueling the experience economy with their preference to spend time and money on concerts, social experiences, athletic pursuits, festivals, and events of all kinds rather than material possessions."
Technology has given us everything we could want at our fingertips, and with these unlimited products and information readily available, there is no "thrill" in shopping. The thrill comes from obtaining something not everyone else can have — an experience.
How can you provide an experience? Let’s take a look at Times Square in New York City for inspiration.
Hershey, a long-time Times Square retailer, is moving, expanding and creating a more interactive location — still in Times Square. "Hershey will join other Times Square tenants creating more interactive or engaging retail environments to grab the attention of the more than 300,000 pedestrians that the Times Square Alliance estimates cross through Times Square daily," according to The Wall Street Journal.
The National Football League, National Football League Players Association and Cirque du Soleil have come together to provide another Times Square experience complete with interactive displays and a 350-seat theater.
For decades, Times Square was the destination for the ultimate shopper. Now, it’s become the destination for the ultimate experience seeker — who is also looking to purchase. You don’t have to give up sales to offer an experience. You need to incorporate these experiences into your shopping experience. The consumer entering the Hershey’s store might enjoy the chocolate tastings and selfie opportunities, but they are also there for purchasing candy.
In addition to in-store experiences, consumers want to do business with those who give back to the community or environment. The experience for these consumers comes from the message they are spreading.
Take TOMS shoes, for example. Every pair of TOMS purchased provides a pair of shoes to a needy person. For TOMS consumers, the experience was included providing a pair of shoes to a person in need. TOMS shoes were so successful, they expanded their product line to include eyewear, bags, backpacks and more. Each new product purchase still offers the experience of giving back to those in need.
While millennials have spearheaded the desire for experiences, the concept has caught on across all generations. This is beneficial to retailers because adapting to fit the needs of one demographic will not isolate another. Providing an experience will attract and fulfill the needs of your entire consumer base.
What experience do you offer?
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