The rise in popularity of e-commerce has many believing that the epitaph should already be written for brick-and-mortar retail operations. It’s easy to see why. According to online retail projections by Forrester, e-commerce sales in 30 retail groups are expected to grow to $414 billion by 2018. However, research also shows that actual retail locations—not virtual ones—are expected to reach more than $400 billion by 2018. Simply put, brick-and-mortar isn’t going anywhere just yet. But, in order to survive the seismic shifts in retail purchasing behavior, it’s more vitally important than ever to create great physical location shopping experiences.

More and more people do research online about a product before walking into a retail location to purchase it. In fact, 72 percent of millennials first research options online. Product knowledge, reviews and competitive information that surpass what even many in-store salespeople can offer are just a click away. Many shoppers, however, still want to go to a physical location to test that knowledge. Millennials also want shopping experiences that are more personal, as opposed to being a cog in a wheel for behemoth retail. Having compelling products that shoppers are interested in, with friendly and knowledgeable staff members, has become ultra-important in creating a great shopping atmosphere. Brick-and-mortar retail stores simply can’t do that without compelling product on display and in stock for sale.

As a lighting manufacturer, we always strive to inspire lighting users in ways that can help their entertainment businesses grow. We do that in a number of ways. Education initiatives, aspirational product videos, live trade show demos and more are all ways in which we engage with our customers. But, there’s nothing like the inspiration that comes from seeing dynamic lighting products live in action. Any gearhead who has walked into the nirvana of a musical instrument retail store knows that the inspiration can be instantaneous. Seeing the way lighting is displayed, mounted and controlled inspires in-person buyers to think about the ways that lighting can enhance their live performances and, predictably, their bottom line.

Even if a customer walks in for guitar strings, it’s easy for him or her to imagine what the next performance might look like if it were under those lights on display. That only works, however, if they are on display. If they are, they will increase the retailer’s bottom line when they’re sold, but they’ll also inspire customers to enhance their look, improving their performance income, as well. It’s all about providing inspiration, value, innovation and performance.

Geoff Short is Marketing Manager at CHAUVET DJ.

No more articles