Is Experiential Marketing the Key to Beating Inflation Stress?

Retailers and consumers are feeling inflation pressure, but how badly inflation impacts your retail business depends largely on how you approach the problem. Retail marketing during times of high inflation requires a shift in perspective. Instead of focusing on the products your store offers, you need to focus on what makes your store a destination for shoppers.

When budgets are tight, shoppers are looking for lower prices, but this is a race to the bottom for retailers. Your retail marketing strategy must focus on making customer experience in retail the star of the show. Deciding where to shop is the first step in the buyer journey, and positioning your store as the top choice is the goal. During times of high inflation, one of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal is through experiential marketing.

Why Experiential Marketing Works When Inflation is High

Experiential marketing proves to shoppers that a product is what it claims to be. No amount of retail marketing hype can compete with an in-person demo of products where a shopper can get a hands-on experience. Unboxing videos, online reviews, and slick advertisements can’t compare to the proof that experiential marketing provides.

Beyond that, experiential marketing events like store sampling experiences give shoppers a reason to choose your store over the competition. You can also use experiential marketing to keep shoppers engaged longer, and this equates to higher profits.

Lastly, experiential marketing can generate word of mouth marketing when inflation is high. Of course, everyone is looking for low prices, but when someone shares a retail experience with a friend, this can overcome even the tightest of budgets since WOM marketing from a trusted source holds a lot of power.

Examples of Experiential Marketing You Can Use

Although brands and retailers like H&M, Costco, and Showfield’s have used experiential marketing to great effect to draw customers in, you don’t have to put on an elaborate store demo showcase to take advantage of the power of experiential marketing. Below are some experiential marketing ideas you can use in your store today:

Send Shoppers on a Scavenger Hunt

Create a fun scavenger hunt using private-label brands in your store. Shoppers can spend time looking around your store to find items on the list, and you can award small prizes to everyone who participates in the form of coupons or discounts on certain purchases.

Make Your Own Game Show

You can also make a game show out of low-cost products. Draw up a board with a list of qualifying products your store carries. List some nutrition information for these items, cover the answers, and let customers guess the solutions. Award shoppers with small prizes and encourage them to share their experiences on social media.

Utilize Vendor Resources

Your vendors have plenty of resources that your store can use to create experiential marketing events, so why not take advantage of this? CPG brands often get assets to retailers for promotional purposes, and you can also turn to retail marketing solutions like Demo Wizard to manage your experiential marketing planning.

Encourage Shoppers to Bring Friends and Family

You can also host a “bring-a-friend” day as part of your retail marketing strategy. When a shopper brings a friend or family member to shop, take pictures, encourage people to dress up, and promote the event on social media. This is a low-cost way to get more people through the door and build awareness simultaneously.