How Visual Discovery Is Changing Retail Stores
Remember the experience of going to a shopping mall with friends when you were a teenager and the feeling of spending time there, watching people pass by, listening to the music played in the shops and trying out the sample merchandise? The experience wasn’t always about buying something new, but with time spent soaking up the atmosphere, you discovered new things and made purchases you hadn’t expected.
Now with consumers learning to expect a similarly immersive multi-dimensional experience when shopping online and using visual discovery through videos and images on apps like Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, successful retailers have to make sure their in store experience is evolving.
Communicating Through Pictures Not Words
According to co-founder and CEO of Pinterest Ben Silbermann, this is an exciting time in retail as customers who are used to discovering new ideas and inspiration through rich digital communications expect to see this translated into the experiences they receive in retail stores.
People want to visualise how they will use what they buy and imagine how the product will fit into their lifestyle.
They don’t necessarily have the words to describe what it is they are looking for, but they know when they see it, and this trend towards visual discovery is useful for retailer brands, who can now focus on merchandising, layout, graphics and digital interactions in store that use pictures to help them convey the benefits of their products.
Technology is helping consumers to visualize what they want to buy, and it is destined to play an even bigger role in retailing, says Silbermann. Speaking at the recent ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas, he says the smartphone has changed the way brands need to express themselves through in store media, because video stories, emojis and imagery collections are the way people now talk and engage with their friends and family.
The Sound of Success
Imagery is not the only in store media that influences a consumer. The music played can create an emotional connection between brand and its customers, influencing their purchasing behaviour and ensuring repeat visits. See https://moodmedia.co.uk/in-store-music-for-business/ for more information.
Music is used by retailers to control the experience customers receive in store, encourage them to stay longer and immerse them in the brand so that memories of their shopping trip linger and they are tempted to return.