We live in an economy where consumers’ purchase behaviors are constantly changing. Technology arms consumers with the ability to shop for the best price on a smart device without ever stepping foot into a retail store. And yet, there remains a segment of the marketplace focused on delivering a memorable in-store experience; so much so that it drives some of the priciest purchases we make.
On the Rue Montaigne, a step off of the Champs Elysées in Paris, the light bounces of the glass windows lining the street of the world’s most coveted designers. More than just brick and mortar, the stores experience is unlike what you will find at a shopping mall. At the door, you are not only greeted with a warm welcome, but given an attentive personal shopper to better guide your experience, which might last no less than 3 hours. As you scan the glass cases full of expensive couture and finest leathers, you are free to enjoy a luxurious glass of fizzing champagne, sit, and converse.
Same rings true in the heart of the “Quadrilatero della Moda,” the famed fashion district of Milan, where before paying a significant sum for a stunning handbag from an iconic designer, handmade espresso and a delicious, delicate pastry is first in order, on the house, of course. It is a celebration of the amazing experience, rather than a transaction with a stinging price tag.
In a culture where the balance of power is weighed heavily to the consumer, the trend is often to offer more for less. In these exceptional cases, the purpose of shopping is so much more than buying a necklace or a bag; it is about the experience and the marketers know it. Offering luxury attracts customers and makes them more comfortable with spending out of their usual budget. It is a variation on the same psychology behind playing certain types of music in stores, and using specific language or imagery in advertising.
Focusing on the experiential aspects of not just retail, but other industries, is a smart way to give your brand a huge boost. There is a large body of evidence, from thriving high end restaurants to luxury car dealerships… elevating the purchase experience beyond a simple transaction is a powerful strategic move that can make all the difference.