Whilst educating consumers has a role to play, everything comes back to igniting people’s imagination to engage and purchase products.
Creating pockets of interaction within a physical retail space is something that the digital alternative cannot provide.
Our Resolution Interiors conversation brings Claire Aldersley (Creative Design Manager), Zoe Wallis (Project Coordinator) and Pippa Saunders (Marketing Manager) to the big table.
Let’s look at why educating customers is more than solving problems, but a way to interact, demonstrate and connect with a brand.
A recent report by the interactions subsidiary of Damon Worldwide highlighted that 60% of shoppers want demonstrations in store.
A recent example of a brand taking this step towards demonstration is Dyson. They opened in summer 2016 their first ever demo store on Oxford Street, London. On the first floor, they have introduced a hair salon, where people can get a complimentary blow dry with the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer.
The stylists are not just from a hair background, but they know the intricacies of the Dyson digital motor V9, spinning up to 110,000 times per minute. It supports the idea that customers want insight, not just being sold to.
Pippa stated, “People are more cynical than ever of marketing messages and sweeping product claims. Being authentic and genuine holds far more relevance to someone else. For instance, if you watched an advert telling you that a hairdryer cuts drying time by 50%, you would think it was just a heavy advertising message. If you were part of the demonstration, in store, you would look at things completely differently.”
Consumers need validation; we are becoming untrusting of brands. According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Survey, UK trust in businesses is at it’s lowest point since 2012.
“Brands need to be forward thinking to demonstrate value,” highlighted Zoe. “Virgin Holidays installed first class seating to highlight comfort and luxury. Mock windows and overhead lockers were in place to create a sense of realism. This tangible up-sell is something that you cannot get out of store.”
Becoming attentive in a retail space is nothing new; it’s just that it can be facilitated better. Pippa explains, “Working with Farrow & Ball and their Beaconsfield showroom, there is the need to educate as it is quite a complex product namely, preparation, colour pairings, impact of lighting, effect of colour on spatial awareness, appropriate application, desired finish and so on. An environment was created for a member of staff to participate and bring their knowledge to the table. When a member of staff becomes a part of the process by opening draws, pulling items off the shelf and interacting with other members of the team it creates a closer sense of connection.”
Zoe continued this theme of being attentive, not just educating. “My husband plays a lot of golf. When we visited a golf retailer, the conversation built from personal introductions to where he plays and what golf clubs he enjoys. What started to happen was a journey was being created, before he was shown any actual clubs. Eventually three different gold clubs were presented to try out to help with his swing. We left having purchased three golf clubs.”
“By visiting a store, speaking to someone else who had a passion now means my husband won’t buy a golf club any other way.”
Moving from attention comes the element of ‘persuasion’, as highlighted by Claire. “When you walk past a display you may not give it much thought. When someone asks you to touch and feel, it changes the whole dynamic.”
“Nike demonstrates this beautifully by elevating the consumer experience in Nike Town and participating in a sport you enjoy. Taking a penalty and scoring, convinces someone that they need a new pair of football boots.”
When the message being communicated is one that the consumer wants to hear i.e. makes them look/feel better, gives them a sense of achievement, allows them to complete things quicker and is demonstrated in front of them enables stronger ties to be created.
Pippa concluded, “Educating consumers has a role to play, but I believe it is more than that. It comes back to creating a great customer experience. You can call it learning, but is also how the physical store is a space to convince someone to engage, participate and to purchase. A physical presence makes the decision process easier.”
Creating an atmosphere and environment to participate and enjoy being part of goes beyond educating customers. As the stats highlight people want to see how a product works and bring a part of their world, before they purchase.
Meaningful relationships with retailers start with small interactions not just pockets of learning.