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8 go-to methods for creating a memorable in-store experience

SkillsCategory
6 min read
Brett Farmiloe

In the quest to turn every store visit into an unforgettable journey, we've gathered insights from eight retail leaders, including CEOs and business owners. They share their secrets from creating immersive sensory displays to providing hands-on product demonstrations, detailing the elements that make these methods effective and the lasting impression they leave on customers.

  1. Create immersive sensory displays
  2. Blend digital and physical shopping
  3. Engage customers with brand scents and sounds
  4. Tell stories with visual merchandising
  5. Host exclusive in-store events
  6. Revamp the checkout experience
  7. Incorporate interactive technology stations
  8. Provide hands-on product demonstrations

1. Create immersive sensory displays

I've gained a lot of expertise in making our clients' in-store experiences unique as the owner of Festoon House. We've found that creating sensory-rich, immersive lighting displays is one strategy that always works well.

To give you an example, we once used our newest collection of string lights to transform an area of our store into a warm, magical garden. We created shelves adorned with luxurious greenery, suspended sparkling lights from the ceiling, and arranged comfortable seating areas so that patrons could unwind and take in the atmosphere.

The ability for clients to interact with our products in a unique environment, the welcoming mood, and the attention to detail were the essential components that contributed to making this experience unforgettable. In addition to increasing sales, it made a lasting impression on our patrons, many of whom still remember their time spent in our enchanting garden. By providing these kinds of experiences, we distinguish ourselves in a crowded market and encourage client loyalty.

Matt Little, Owner, Festoon House

2. Blend digital and physical shopping

Today's leading retailers are combining the data search of e-commerce with in-store browsing and tactile product discovery. 

An example is having QR codes on the product labels on the shelves that take the consumer to online reviews and product specifications, making the in-store experience a perfect blend of digital and physical. This way, the consumer can differentiate between products and make an informed decision.

Michelle Tinsley, CEO, Tinsley Retail Insights

3. Engage customers with brand scents and sounds

For crafting unforgettable in-store experiences, focusing on sensory engagement is key. 

Recently, we introduced an in-store scent exclusive to our brand, alongside a carefully curated playlist that resonates with our brand's ethos. This combination of olfactory and auditory elements transforms the shopping environment, making each visit distinctly memorable. Customers have shared that this sensory journey not only differentiates our store from others but also elevates their overall mood and connection to the brand. 

By investing in these sensory details, we've seen an increase in customer dwell time and a stronger emotional bond with our brand, proving the power of a multisensory approach to creating lasting impressions.

Bradley Fry, Owner, PinProsPlus

4. Tell stories with visual merchandising

A proven method for creating a memorable in-store experience involves the strategic implementation of visual merchandising combined with interactive elements. For instance, one successful approach is the creation of thematic displays that not only showcase products but also tell a compelling story.

Consider a retail store aiming to promote sustainable living. The store leaders designed an immersive section featuring eco-friendly products displayed within a simulated natural environment.

The elements contributing to its success include careful curation of products, engaging signage explaining the sustainability aspects, and hands-on activities like reusable bag crafting sessions.

This approach encourages customers to interact with the merchandise, fostering a sense of connection and understanding of the brand's values. Additionally, the store incorporates sensory elements such as calming background music and natural scents, enhancing the overall ambiance.

Kamil Kozorys, Managing Director, Unique Tiles

5. Host exclusive in-store events

Hosting exclusive in-store events has proven to be a game-changer for creating memorable experiences. These events range from product launches to collaborations with local artists, offering our customers unique experiences that cannot be replicated online. Such events not only draw people into our store but also build a sense of community and brand loyalty.

The impact of these gatherings extends beyond the events themselves, as they foster long-term relationships with our customers, turning them into brand advocates. This strategy has greatly contributed to our success by increasing foot traffic and strengthening our customer base.

Michael Nemeroff, CEO & Co-Founder, Rush Order Tees

6. Revamp the checkout experience

Something we're seeing happen in the industry is what I like to refer to as the “revamp of the checkout experience.” 

We've seen just how popular in-store checkouts leading brands like UNIQLO have become (and how much of a novelty shoppers find them), and it's such a critical point of focus for retailers. So, we can only expect to see more intuitive checkout experiences in the coming 12 months!

Wendy Makinson, HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

7. Incorporate interactive technology stations

Incorporating interactive technology stations throughout our store has revolutionized the way we engage with customers. Features like digital lookbooks and augmented-reality mirrors offer a modern, interactive shopping experience that appeals to today's tech-savvy consumers. 

These innovative touches not only attract attention but also encourage customers to share their experiences on social media, broadening our reach. The introduction of technology into the shopping experience has not only set us apart from competitors but has also significantly increased customer engagement and store visits, making each visit memorable and shareable.

Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing, Ninja Transfers

8. Provide hands-on product demonstrations

We allow our customers to interact directly with our cleaning equipment. We believe a demonstration goes beyond a thousand words. It offers an in-store experience that sticks with them long after they leave our shop. 

For example, if a customer wants to purchase the Volt Mini, we take them to the showroom, where they get the tangible, sensory engagement of the Volt Mini. They feel the build quality and see it in action. Customers purchasing our eco-friendly cleaning agents get to see the thickness, feel it, and even smell it for a complete experience. This direct interaction before purchase increases the recall value, and most customers share this memorable experience with others. 

The word-of-mouth referrals increase our sales and repeat business. When giving feedback, customers express how this demonstration gives them confidence in their purchase. Some have noted that they chose Fortador because they got to test the equipment before purchasing.

Lev Tretyakov, CEO and Sales Director, Fortador

Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the authors alone and does not necessarily represent the views of GoDaddy. All trademark rights belong to their respective owners. Third-party trademarks are used here for demonstrative and educational purposes only, use does not represent affiliation or endorsement.