Make it easy for consumers to find what they are looking for. In a recent blog Is Veganism Going Mainstream, I discussed how Marshalls was making it easier for vegan shoppers to identify purses that coincide with the shopper’s values. In addition to Marshalls highlighting vegan purses, Whole Foods also makes it easy for consumers following specific dietary guidelines, such as Paleo, Whole 30, Gluten Free etc., to find products that meet their requirements without them having to read every label.
Make it experiential. Whether you own or operate an individual store, a chain of them or a shopping center, the consumer has to experience something beyond the shopping itself. Retailtainment was first used back in 1999 by sociologist and author George Ritzer
Make it interactive. Books and Books, the independently owned local bookstore is amazing at interacting with their customers. In addition to having knowledgeable staff, they have a cafe with great food, spaces for getting together and socializing and they offer book signings and readings by authors. Patrons come early have dinner or a cocktail, socialize, buy the book, and interact with the author. You can’t get that from online shopping and, in spite of technology (or maybe because of it) people want to have places where the can interact.
Make it Instagram and Pinterest worthy: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and the rest of social media has made it essential that whether it is food, clothing, real estate, spaces and places, whatever it is you are selling has to be Instagram and Pinterest worthy. Two places in Miami do that extremely well. Miami Design District and Wynwood. Don’t believe me? Go into Instagram and #miamidesigndistrict to view 158,000 posts or #wynwood to view over 2.4 million posts.
Make it about community. Several of the places already discussed such as Books and Books, the Miami Design District, and Wynwood are great examples. FootWorks in South Miami has running clubs and helps train you for half and full marathons, Dharma Studio in Coconut Grove offers free yoga classes three times a week in the Grove, and Aventura Mall has all sorts of events scheduled throughout the year. If you are in an area that has one, check with your local Business Improvement District and see how you can get involved to bring more traffic to your store.