Retailtainment: Why Experiential Retail Is the Future of Shopper Engagement

What is Retailtainment or experiential marketing?

If you ask marketers what is “Retailtainment” or experiential marketing, each one will give a different view on it. And probably all of them would be right because experiential marketing comes in many forms. Every activity you do for your CPG brand that looks like a random happening or disrupts the common landscape that your customers are used to seeing, everything that gives clients an out-of-the-ordinary shopping experience, that’s experiential marketing. 

Let me try out Tokinomo’s own definition: “Retailtainment is retail experiential marketing for shoppers entertainment. Experiential marketing techniques create in-store branding experiences between shoppers and brands, through a facilitating medium or media. Retailtainment branding experiences in store bring products to life, through light, sound, movement and interact directly with the shopper." That’s why we say that Tokinomo is the ultimate POS Retailtainment IoT device. 

What can POS experiential marketing do for your brand? 

Oh, so many things. Experiential campaigns and in-store activations are more rewarding and efficient than your usual Google ads campaign and that’s because they remain stuck in customers’ minds and generate, besides word of mouth and sales, something even more important for you: customer acquisition and brand loyalty. 

That’s because real in-store POS experiences, compared to a promotion or a discount let’s say, stay in people’s memory for longer. In a study published by the International Journal of Supply Chain Management, 100% of the respondents say that retailtainment, experiential POS marketing, or intimate brand experiences make them curious about a particular product or service that’s being advertised.

Retailtainment 1.0

That’s a buzz word and you gotta love it! Retailtainment means using retail marketing as entertainment and generating a memorable experience for in-store shoppers through engaging activities, sounds, motion, or special settings that create a mood that motivates buying. 

In a time when e-commerce is growing so fast, retailtainment is here to bring brick & mortar back to life and start creating the kind of customer engagement that would drive people back to the stores and put a smile on their faces. 

NRF said that online sales are going to surpass in-store sales by 2024 in the US, while the founder of Farfetch is expecting physical brick and mortar retail to account just for 80% of the sales in 2025 compared to 93% today. 

Does that mean that retail brick and mortar stores will become irrelevant?

No, on the contrary. Experts have been talking about omnichannel for a few years, but it is only today (and especially now with the pandemic) that we start to feel its presence. Brick and mortar will not disappear, because real experiences will be cherished more than ever by customers. That’s why retail entertainment is so important because it is the best way to amplify in-store experiences and become relevant for shoppers. 

Types of retailtainment campaigns: 

1. Oldies but goldies - instore sampling

Product testing: who doesn’t like free stuff sampling? Especially if it’s a new product that nobody has yet tried. That’s one of the safest retailtainment ideas and not very innovative. But it still works! 

2. NFC, Beacons, Bluetooth

Use retail technology that helps you identify customers as soon as they walk inside your store. This will help you create personalized experiences for them and we all know that customization is the key to success in experiential marketing nowadays!  

3. Enhanced product display 

Incorporate elements that engage the customer’s senses. Whether we’re talking about smell, sight, sound, or touch, customers that experience your products using a combination of senses are prone to remember them for longer. See how Jo Malone used a visual display to add a visual representation of the scents or how these grocery products in a supermarket are talking to the customers powered by a robot. 

Other examples of retail technology that you can use in store to create a shopping experience to remember for your customers can be found in this article as well. 

3 great examples of retailtainment campaigns:

House of Vans 

A place for young people filled with art, music, BMX, street culture, and fashion, where you can go shopping if you want, but just hang out with your friends if you don’t. The House of Vans in London is truly one of the best retailtainment examples, as it includes a cinema, cafe, and a live music venue, plus a concrete and a mini ramp for their fans. Knowing your audience is one thing, but knowing how to get them together and motivate them to buy is a whole other story. And Vans is doing experiential marketing right! 


Toms VR 

It is really important, especially today when COVID-19 has affected brick and mortar retail so much, for customers to understand how your company is giving back to the world. This is what TOMs did perfectly. They used VR technology to immerse their customers into their mission of saving the world one shoe at a time. When customers put the VR headsets on, they were instantly transported to Peru, where locals were smiling and waving and where they could see children enjoying their first pair of shoes. Watch their experiential marketing in the following video:



Farfetch Store of the Future

Farfetch understood that technology is the future of retail and experiences are the future of marketing. So they connected the dots and created a mind-blowing experience for their customers by using augmented reality. In their London retail store, Farfetch provided screens, smart mirrors, and sign-in stations that let customers search for their shopping history and wishlists and managed to combine the convenience and speed of online shopping with the real feel of boutique shopping. Brilliant #retailtech!


What can retailtainment do in Covid-19 times?

Consumer behavior has changed over the last few months with people wanting less human interaction and thinking about their safety and health above all. Social distancing is something that’s affecting retail as well, as most of the stores have closed, traffic has lowered significantly due to lockdowns and, even in grocery retail, sampling campaigns and all other in-store promotions using promoters have been canceled. To cope with it, retail technology is not a nice-to-have any more, but the only way of moving forward while complying with the new normal. 

Retailtainment will probably become a tool in making customers come back to the stores and engage with the brands in a way that’s keeping them safe and making them feel happy.

Back to Tokinomo - the ultimate Retailtainment device 

It’s now extremely easy to build immersive experiential POS marketing activations. Our IoT device was built for FMCG and CPG brands and our campaigns prove tremendous results. Watch our videos for inspiration and check our case studies to see how some of the world’s most progressive brands use Tokinomo to delight shoppers. 

Tokinomo is the ultimate retailtainment POSM device. Designed for in-store experiential marketing activations, Tokinomo sparks joy through light, speech, and movement. FMCG brands from around the world use the Tokinomo solution to create immersive experiences for shoppers in supermarkets and brick and mortar stores

We partner with global retailers, distributors, and FMCG brands to increase brand awareness and sales. Our patented, certified, and award-winning retail tech device provides real-time campaign analytics and is easily managed remotely. Each Tokinomo device is connected wirelessly to our data servers - this means you can upload campaign audio creative assets remotely and have access to data online or through the Tokinomo app.

Lastly, Tokinomo is a pandemic-proof solution. During Covid19 challenging times, in-store promotional activities or sampling have come to a stop. Our robotic POSM device does an amazing and safe job to delight shoppers through creative marketing experiences. Coming soon to a store shelf near you! 





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