Welcome to TLC USA

TLC Retail

Rekindling the In-store Flame

Posted by andrew.mockridge | 13 May

You can look but you can’t touch,” means many - sometimes inappropriate - things for a lot of different people, but personally it takes me back to my childhood. For as long as I remember, the moment I’d enter a store with mom, she or the employees would harp on that phrase the entire visit. Who would have imagined this mantra would essentially blossom into the “kryptonite” of the retail sector?

A few years and website discount retailers later we get: showrooming.

With the likes of Amazon, Ebay, and Groupon, consumers nowadays get to enjoy picking out what they need, like, and admire in store before heading immediately onto their mobile devices to make the sneaky purchase behind the retailer’s back. My professional diagnosis? Serial retail cheating. I would usually recommend couples therapy…but in this case, I’ve found there’s a brilliant solution in experiential incentives.

Retailers get their shoppers in-store, but what are they willing to do to get them spending in-store? We typically see cash back or a discount, maybe a doodad or a free coffee – nothing new. That makes for a fickle shopper. So, how about rewards and incentives, loyalty programs, or surprise and delights in the form of experiences people love? I’m talking real added-value rewards. Experiences, activities, luxurious happenings and appealing to-dos – something to encourage and motivate their behavior that the online discount retailers don’t provide.

Let me paint a clearer picture.

We’ve seen Banana Republic incentivize their target by offering Broadway tickets for a minimum level spend in store. DECA Supermarkets wanted to appeal to their family-specific demographic, so they answered that with free Piano Lessons, Movie Rentals, and Family Adventure Activities. Sears wanted to target dads on Father’s Day, and so they gave out free rounds of Golf for buying in-store. We even saw Levi’s sell more jeans in their brick and mortars by giving away general admission concert tickets.

And who wouldn’t welcome a branded experience like that? Just picture yourself front row.

It’s time to build that relationship again, get the shoppers off line and save their phones for a rainy day. The retailers are back and they’re ready to mingle.

Whoever said you can’t buy love never tried in-store.