Americans used to dress up—not just to attend job interviews, jury duty, and the opera—but to go places like the airport and the department store. Heels, jackets, fedoras, and handbags were all part of the shopping wardrobe.
Ordinary activities became events partly because there wasn’t all that much to do at home. People couldn’t watch movies on demand in home theaters with big-screen TVs and surround sound. However, since so many households now have those features, Americans are not hitting the theaters the way they did years ago.
And with the prevalence of video game systems, easy access to the music you love, home food delivery, and the ability to have just about anything else dropped on your doorstep, there’s not a whole lot you need to leave home to do.
Isolation and loneliness are widespread, and technology may be a contributing factor. People can easily use their smartphones, tablets, and other technologies to perform tasks or access entertainment they used to need to go out for.
There are also debates about whether social media use can make some people feel lonelier. But it’s more than the social aspect that people miss by skipping live events. The interactivity with the place, features, and technologies can also provide education, stimulation, and entertainment.
The value of the live event should not be overlooked when trying to draw customers to your location. It’s just a matter of offering the kind of experiences that make it worthwhile for customers to leave home.
Why Live Experiences Matter
Activities like shopping, seeing movies, going to the theater, and attending music concerts do provide social benefits, but live, interactive events can also offer:
- Magnificence: Many events are worth attending simply because you cannot experience them at home. Most people probably don’t have the ability or resources to host their favorite band in their living rooms or install theater-sized screens and the like.
- Inspiration: There are entire industries based on inspiring awe among audiences. From Broadway to Las Vegas to all kinds of amusement parks, people keep seeking out larger-than-life experiences. Interactive and personalized features let attendees feel that they are part of the vision.
- Well-being: Sometimes attending live events just feels good. In fact, research suggests that live music events can make attendees feel better and even live longer.
What Interactive Experiences Mean for Business
Do you want to create an experience where your customers want to dress up to shop again? With shoppers making more online purchases and with more brick-and-mortar stores closing, malls and department stores will have to change the in-store experience if they want to retain foot traffic.
Some retail stores are considering solutions to make in-store experiences immersive and interactive, like interactive mirrors, virtual product shelves, smart shopping carts, signage that makes personalized recommendations, and more.
To compete with the digital world, live experiences—whether in retail or another customer environment—must appeal to the senses in a way that people can’t experience at home. Adding items to a virtual shopping cart from your couch can’t compete with an in-store experience with lights, sounds, and touch—and the assurance you’re buying the right fit.
Digital Media Practice Manager Craig Frankenstein explained ways that brick-and-mortar retailers are competing with online platforms during his keynote speech at AVI LIVE in Chicago. Watch the keynote here to learn more.