2023 has been a bumper year for events after two years of pausing offline activities. Despite the rising importance of online business, in-store retail events are becoming increasingly popular among merchants. With the ability to promote and create a unique shopping experience, these events offer a great way for businesses to increase store traffic and boost sales. Through creative marketing techniques, merchants can leverage the power of in-store events to engage customers and create a memorable shopping experience.
In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of in-store retail events and some of the ways merchants can use these events to increase foot traffic and boost sales.
Events are a unique opportunity for merchants to get their audiences’ foot in the door and expose them to the brand and its products. Events incentivize consumers to overcome the initial inertia of exploring new brands by enticing them with some kind of interesting activity or valuable offering.
Retail events take advantage of the fear of missing out, or FOMO, to encourage customers to spend. When customers participate in in-store events, they get to experience products and interact with staff members - creating an opportunity that can convince them to buy immediately.
Retail events are a great way for brands to build a connection with their community. By engaging with customers in a unique way, brands are able to cement their position in the top of their customer’s minds and build product awareness without hard selling. These events can also tie in with loyalty programs to reward and retain these customers.
Today’s customer is highly discerning and is always on the lookout for knowledge. Holding classes and workshops in retail stores can be a great way to draw in an engaged audience and can be a great way to showcase products and get customers to experience them. At the same time, brands are able to stand out in a crowded marketplace by positioning themselves as a thought leader in their industry. These sessions can be anything related to the product category such as cooking demonstrations for kitchen appliance brands or art classes for a children’s store.
For example, international fashion brand, Love Bonito, holds regular styling workshops designed to coach customers to match fashion pieces to fit seasonal trends. Customers are, thus, exposed to that season’s most popular products while having a practical and memorable experience at Love Bonito’s store.
Launch parties are a great way to generate hype around key product lines that merchants want to focus on and promote. These events have a dual purpose of informing attendees about the new product line while entertaining them to make the event fun and memorable. These events are an excellent way to attract shoppers and generate publicity in social and news media organically.
For example, when Adidas launched its collaboration with Gucci in Singapore, they organised a party that was attended by local celebrities, influencers and customers. Themed around the colours and patterns used in the product line, attendees came decked in Adidas and Gucci apparel. With live music, entertainment and food, the event managed to garner attention on major news outlets such as Harper’s Bazaar while going viral on social media.
Community-focused events and meetups are a good way to build long-term brand loyalty by reaching out to target audiences via real-life social interactions. These events normally encourages community members with common interests to get together once or twice a month to take part in an activity or to interact and get to know one another. These types are commonly used for retail stores related to hobbies or shared interests like pet stores, bookstores and video game stores.
In Singapore, the New Balance Run Club is a running group by the sporting brand that aims to promote running and a healthy lifestyle in its community. Members of the club gather at their Kallang Wave and Novena retail outlets to run and walk together every week around Singapore. In this way, these runners build a positive relationship with the brand even as they get fitter and healthier.
Exclusive events can help to make your most loyal customers feel special and appreciated. Particularly for brands that offer a loyalty or insider programme, hosting events that only offer access to these frequent and engaged customers can be a good way to reinforce repurchasing and encourage behaviours like recommending products to friends and family. These events are also great ways to incenivise on-the-spot purchases with special promotions and discounts.
Cosmetics brand, Sephora, organised a Playhouse pop-up where customers that signed up for their Beauty Pass membership app could explore decorated themed rooms. These rooms featured 3D life-sized makeup installations and oversized cosmetic products that visitors could interact with take photos with. This event was an effective way for Sephora to build goodwill with its most dedicated customers while garnering attention for its range of featured product lines.
Merchants looking to take their business to the next level with retail events will need a retail management system that is able to support these initiatives. SHOPLINE point-of-sale (POS) is a cloud-connected system that helps you to accept a wide variety of payment options and sync your inventory, order and customer management so that you can grow your business.
Some key features that can help you get ready for event activations include:
Membership System - Add a membership programme to your store so you can start to reward your loyal customers with benefits like exclusive VIP events. Collect member data, allow them to gain points by participating in activities and automate your remarketing activities.
Adhoc Promotions - Create exclusive promotions for specific groups of customers or products during special events. In this way, customers are driven to make on-the-spot purchase decisions as they attend in-store retail events.
Want to sell effectively through physical and digital channels? We highly recommend using SHOPLINE to grow and scale your business. It’s easy to use, perfect for beginners, and incredibly affordable. The SHOPLINE POS platform is powered by industry leading cloud technology to make managing across outlets, sales channels and platforms simple and time-efficient.