In-Store Events Drive Traffic

For brick-and-mortar retailers competing against the convenience of ecommerce, actually getting customers into the store can be half the battle. To differentiate your brand, entice new customers, and keep loyal fans coming back for more, it is essential to continue curating new and exciting shopping experiences. Many retailers are addressing this desire for experiences by designing unique, interactive in-store events that go beyond the typical sales promotion. When executed effectively, these events can increase store traffic, raise brand awareness, and directly boost sales. 

Launch exclusive promotions

With new products earning up to half of their profits in the earliest stages of their life cycle, it is critical for retailers to maximize sales potential through prompt action. Exclusive launch events for new store locations or new products provide an excellent means for brands to raise awareness, generate exposure, and build buzz. 

Finish Line recently premiered their vision for a Store of the Future with a two-day grand opening event at their flagship location in Chicago. Imagine! provided vibrant backlit fabric graphics to modernize the store interior, and customers were enticed to visit the sleek new space to experience all the latest footwear, live radio broadcasts, an interactive lounge, on-site brand representatives from Nike and Adidas, and exclusive access to special activations and discounts. The success of this event has prompted Finish Line to deploy similar tactics in other store locations across the country.

Shoppers created custom tote bags at Finish Line’s Store of the Future event.

Cultivate memorable connections

Engaging and relevant in-store events provide a valuable opportunity for retailers to build connections and strengthen relationships between brands, communities, and consumer interests. Target stores recently hosted an in-store “Force Friday” pop-up to promote the next film in the celebrated Star Wars franchise. The limited-time event offered unique and exciting experiences for nostalgic space adventurers and younger fans alike, including photo ops with popular characters, prize giveaways, and live demonstrations of the latest toys, gadgets, and apparel. By catering to this large and widespread fan base and creating a memorable experience, Target has fostered customer loyalty and positioned themselves as a compelling destination for future sales.

Shoppers flocked to Target to experience their Force Friday event.

Provide learning experiences

Many retailers coordinate hands-on learning events and educational demonstrations to drive consumer traffic and provide rationale for shoppers to spend an extended period of time in-store. The wide popularity of D-I-Y projects translates well to creative crafting classes, such as those organized by many arts-and-crafts stores, providing a valuable experience for customers while emphasizing retailer expertise. Educational demonstrations can directly promote products and influence subsequent sales by allowing customers the opportunity to observe, handle, and experience firsthand all the features the product has to offer. These events tend to be fairly simple and straightforward, requiring minimal planning to be effective.

Give back

With the holidays around the corner, many consumers are looking for opportunities to do good and benefit those in need. Tying a special event or promotion to the support of a worthy charitable cause allows retailers to attract and forge emotional bonds with socially-conscious shoppers, making them feel their well-placed dollars have a greater purpose. By aligning with relevant and meaningful charitable initiatives, brands reinforce their own positive image and strong values, allowing them to further their influence and resonate with their customers.