In the past, experiential marketing was a strategy used by successful retailers which involved in-person communication with their customers. Sometimes known as engagement marketing, this strategy works by creating an immersive brand experience that, when done well, makes a lasting impression on the target audience. Brick-and-mortar retailers who employed experiential marketing used their store environment and sales representatives to create an interactive experience designed to evoke specific emotions, making it more memorable than other types of marketing.
Think of a popular furniture store like IKEA; their interactive setup shows you exactly how the products might look when arranged in your own home, inviting you to touch and feel them and shop at a languid, enjoyable pace rather than briskly checking off items. Research shows that engaging more of the senses creates a stronger memory of the moment, and what brand doesn’t want to stand out and be memorable?
With all the recent advancements, you can experience marketing on a whole other level. People have access to internet connections and everything is just a click away. You may check planes de internet Spectrum to get access to a reliable internet connection and seamless connectivity.
Without any further delays, let’s dig into further details.
Growth of E-Commerce
In the last decade, as e-commerce slowly began replacing brick and mortar, we saw a shift in marketing strategies with a greater focus on the digital shopping experience. Then, things seemingly changed overnight as COVID-19 went global in 2020. This accelerated the shift from in-person shopping to e-commerce out of necessity. Visiting stores wasn’t just a less attractive option for many shoppers; it was now potentially life-threatening and, in some places, banned altogether.
As things began opening up in many parts of the world this past year, other forms of shopping, like curbside pickup, still managed to hold onto their popularity due to the convenience many shoppers got used to.
Now, marketing analysts are predicting a renewed focus on experiential marketing, as many shoppers are craving community and interactive brand experiences more than ever. For customers that still prefer ordering from the comfort of their homes, this could look like a revolutionary hybrid approach thanks to the development of augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) technology.
Augmented Reality Merged into Marketing
This year tech giant Facebook unveiled its Metaverse, a virtual world that allows users to connect using VR technology. Facebook announced its plan to venture into VR when it acquired Oculus, the leading developer of VR headsets, back in 2014.
The World of Metaverse and Reality Labs
Although the look and feel of the Metaverse still leave a lot to be desired, Facebook is promising many exciting possibilities and has dedicated a special unit to the task called Reality Labs. In addition to developing the Metaverse, Reality Labs is also working on hardware like soft haptic gloves, which would allow the wearer to experience tactile sensations in their hands when touching objects in the virtual world.
For now, AR/VR’s capabilities are focused primarily on online gaming and world-building. That’s no surprise considering that gamers as a segment were one of VR’s earliest adopters. However, it is also being considered a potential game changer for e-commerce. For now, shopping in the Metaverse is mostly limited to things like virtual clothing, cars, and real estate, which users buy for their in-universe avatars.
Live Shopping Experience
In late 2021, Facebook revealed its intention to partner with big retail brands like Walmart and Macy’s to develop “live shopping experiences.” One year later, brands like Gucci have already opened up virtual storefronts in the Metaverse where users can “try on” virtual items, with the eventual goal of enticing them to buy from their real stores.
This means that experiential marketing in the virtual world is a quickly growing trend as more big-name brands capitalize on AR/VR’s potential. This is one way for brands to get greater engagement with customers who are more online than ever before. It also has the potential to address one of the biggest drawbacks of online shopping: not being able to clearly see or interact with the products before buying. Users can find 3D models of products across hundreds of categories in the Metaverse. If refined, this could translate into greater customer satisfaction for online shoppers and fewer returned orders.
While all this sounds rosy, AR/VR is still quite niche and has its fair share of hurdles, including feelings of motion sickness reported by some Metaverse users. Only time will tell whether the virtual shopping experience will become a more attractive and exciting alternative to the real one. Still, as Metaverse boasts over 300,000 users, its competitors Google and Apple are already investing in their own AR/VR technology, which makes it a trend to watch out for in the coming years.