Footfall Analytics

Is ‘shoppertainment’ the key to driving store foot traffic?

Written by Tony Loxton
Jan 17

Your customers want more than a transactional experience in your store. Blame it on the ever-increasing onslaught of stimuli in the modern age: social media, content-on-demand, virtual reality-based games (VR), or our shrinking attention spans and immunity to gimmicks, today’s shoppers want the whole shebang.

Enter ‘shoppertainment’ – a self-explanatory term, defined by The Register as: “A retail tactic to engage customers through an entertaining in-store shopping experience.” This marketing tactic is not a new one: if you ever sat on Father Christmas’ lap or took a selfie with the Easter Bunny at your local mall way back when, you’ve experienced shoppertainment.

Retail stores are turning to shoppertainment in a bid to increase store foot traffic, via a variety of imaginative means.

The results are impressive. The largest shopping centre in the world, the Dubai Mall, takes shoppertainment to the next level: an on-site aquarium draws visitors from the world over. Boasting over 140 species of aquatic life, and the world’s biggest collection of sand sharks in a captive environment, some 75 million shoppers walked through the doors in 2013 alone. This is a testament to the power of shoppertainment in driving store foot traffic. On a smaller scale, London’s Stratford Centre held an Alice in Wonderland tea party that saw a 30% increase in store foot traffic, reports Shoppertainment Management.

This Telegraph article cites another example of London creative souvenir store We Built This City. Adam Shoemark, Head of Marketing for the store says: “One way that we've managed to convert footfall into sales is by ensuring that our customers are offered more than just a transaction in store. We regularly invite the artists, designers and producers of the goods we stock to host creative experiences for our customers...Each time we host live art in store, we see a significant uplift in sales, not only of the artist's work, but of art overall.”

As online shopping grows in popularity, shoppertainment – in whatever form – will come to be expected from retailers.

Bar your local corner cafe, retailers across the industry will turn to the use of shoppertainment to combat the effects and competition from e-stores and increase store foot traffic. This Transworld Business article quotes the spokesperson for American Express’s Small Business Saturday, Patricia Norins: “Shoppers are hungry for an in-store experience that provides them with not only the products they are searching for, but also an environment that is visually stimulating with a top-notch customer service experience.”

Regardless of the retail sphere in which you operate, there are several ways to provide your customers with a shopping experience that goes beyond the expected. Before you haul out the disco ball and start handing out free beer, bear these two crucial considerations in mind: one, make sure your in-store experience is relevant to your offering, and two, ensure your shoppertainment is relevant to your primary demographic.

To determine whether your shoppertainment is translating into increased store foot traffic, you need to measure the results.

Justifying the budget, time, and energy spent on amplifying the in-store experience hinges on gathering data about your store foot traffic. Foot traffic analytics will indicate and gather crucial metrics such as dwell times and conversion rates, giving you essential insight into how you can improve your experiential marketing campaigns (among other things). Foot traffic software like Blix Traffic measures the metrics that are crucial to improving store foot traffic, mitigating against insufficient dwell times and strategically placing staff on the floor to ensure maximum sales. Find out more about Blix Traffic today.

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