As we’ve said before, studies show that the more time you spend in a store, the more likely you are to buy something. So, what are stores doing to make us stick around these days? Here are some trends we heard about from Daniel Butler, of the National Retail Federation:
First: They’re adding in-store demonstrations. For example: Williams-Sonoma hosts regular cooking classes. And Apple stores offer free workshops to teach people how to use their products. Butler says demonstrations help us feel like we’re part of a community, and that makes us more likely to come back and shop.
Another way stores get you to shop longer: They’re stocking more “surprises.” Think Costco putting a new brand of cookies near the smartphone aisle. Or Urban Outfitters putting a stack of books next to the pants rack. Butler says customers tend to keep shopping if they stumble upon something unexpected. Because new discoveries help transform shopping from a “transaction” into an “experience”.
One more way stores encourage you to shop longer: They’re appealing to your downtime. Stores know that a lot of people pop in to “kill time” while waiting for a movie to start, or their table at a restaurant. That’s an opportunity for store employees to walk around handing out coupons. Why? If they can capture your interest with a 20% discount before you leave, it might be enough to get you to come back and shop later.