Engage Shoppers Through Retail Theater

If you consider your retail environment a stage, then your customers are your audience. Will you give them a great show? Or leave them uninspired?

A memorable shopping experience is something every retailer wants to provide. Putting a new spin on the engagement and storytelling side of promotions is something called Retail Theater. It’s is about finding a compelling way to present products or services that surprises and motivates shoppers to buy.

Competing with the online giants

People don’t have to leave their house to shop. So it’s more important than ever to give shoppers a reason to visit your stores. It’s now a form of novelty entertainment. And simply leaving the house just to see a product in person is not enough – shoppers want to see how the product is used or styled. In the new “experience economy” it’s not enough to sell product – products should be shown off through an emotional experience.


Not just for luxury brands anymore

For many years, retail theater has been a given in luxury markets. Think: expensive cars, jewelry, and high-priced fashion. Within these markets, shoppers have always expected a big song and dance while they peruse fine goods. Now, all sorts of retailers have come to embrace theatrical production in their stores, from pizza chains to toy stores, making it memorable for their guests.

Performing for an audience

Kevin Ervin Kelley, a retail architect, explains his years of work and research like this: “we like our clients to think of their retail store as a performing arts theater that not only has to attract audiences to their show on a daily basis, but also needs to make them feel and react in deliberate ways that are satisfying.” In his guide, The Theater of Retail, he describes the three questions retailers must ask themselves before they can put on a good “show.”

  1. What is your brand’s story?
  2. Where does your brand’s story take place?
  3. What are the key scenes of your story?

Together with your visual communications supplier, choreograph your story and scenes in a subliminal way that represents your brand. As always, Imagine! is here to help you perform for your shoppers to make a visual story they’ll never forget!

Don’t force it. Be authentic. It’s your time to shine, so make them applaud.