retail experiences, digital, innovation, insights

5 stunning examples of experiential retail that work

Posted 18-08-21
6 minute read

nerf toy store display

Retail displays that perform for shoppers by entertaining, delighting and educating them also result in ‘sales performance’ for retailers.

The concept was named – perhaps somewhat awkwardly – as ‘retailtainment’ by American sociologist George Ritzer in 1999 in his book entitled “Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption”.

Defined as “the use of sound, ambience, emotion and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise and in the mood to buy”, retailtainment is perhaps better described today as “experiential display” – though it certainly incorporates a strong element of ‘show business’.

What is experiential retail display?

The concept of experiential retail display is that the shopper’s in-store behaviour can be influenced by means of entertainment and/or education. Designing in-store product displays to appeal to shoppers’ senses not only attracts and engages them whilst in-store; it also enhances their experience and drives sales.

Music retail is a great example, and the announcement by iconic music brand HMV in July 2021 that it was returning to high street store investment suggests this is true. Speaking of his firm’s intention to open 10 new UK stores, including a London flagship, HMV CEO Doug Putman said:

People obviously love going out shopping, they like touching and feeling and that’s something that online is not going to replace.

Why retailers are turning to experiential display

For obvious reasons, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated an already ongoing shift from bricks and mortar retail to online retail.

According to Statista, 71% of people were buying more online than ever before by February 2021, but this figure was already as high as 40% 12 months earlier in March 2020, when the first lockdown restrictions truly began to bite.

As the COVID lockdown lifted, retailers faced more pressure to find ways of making bricks and mortar spaces more appealing in order to tempt shoppers back into malls and high streets.

Against the convenience of order and delivery, transactional speed and choice offered by online retail giants, high street retailers need a unique sales proposition (USP).

And that’s about giving shoppers the opportunity to touch and feel products. While doing so, they can enhance the retail experiences through entertainment and education rather than simply facilitating the purchase.

Most analysts agree that experiential display is going to play a huge role in the future of in-store retail.

Where’s the proof that experiential display works?

Research shows that visitors to shopping centres now expect a fully-fledged experience rather than just retail convenience.

For retailers and brands, experiential display solutions must centre around performance both for the shopper and bottom-line sales, incorporating elements of:

  • Interactivity – forging memories linked to a store and experience of its products
  • Originality – marking a store out as worth visiting over its competition
  • Attachment – creating a bond between the store/product and shoppers.

Retailers who get the experiential elements of their in-store mix right can expect the following benefits:

  • Improved footfall
  • Longer in-store dwell time
  • Enhanced brand loyalty
  • Increased sales – research has shown that consumers are more likely to want to own products they’ve held or interacted with
  • Strong reputational value through word of mouth
  • Greater integration between online sales and offline experiences.

Here at Displayplan we’ve been working at the forefront of this shift, designing, manufacturing and installing retail displays which offer the kind of full spectrum experience which retailers and their customers want.

These display solutions date back to 2017, when Displayplan were involved with the earliest stages of experiential retail.

Tacx instore Julie Cycles

Garmin TACX Demo station

The Garmin TACX is turbo trainer is designed to provide a realistic indoor cycling work out  experience with a realistic ride feel.

This experiential display for Garmin centres around a floor-standing large screen display connected to the TACX indoor training station with a bicycle.

Key experience features:

  • Shoppers can test the demo bike out as well as their own work out performance
  • As well as displaying performance data when shoppers lift products such as on-bike monitors, wearables and lights from the display, the screen activates to display learn and compare content
  • For retail brand managers, display activity data is captured and analysed through the Connie content management platform.
MLP VR end cap 1300
Inside MLP world

My Little Pony Platinum Endcap

 The My Little Pony toy line was launched by Hasbro in 1982 and continues to delight children in the 3 to 5 years age group.

For this experiential display, Displayplan devised an end of aisle display designed for big box and hypermarket stores. Look through the binoculars and become immersed in the VR experience of My Little Pony world as you float in the ballon.

 Key experience features:

  • Realistic experience of the My Little Pony world for children while in-store
  • Recreation of a hot air balloon basket
  • Simulated flight over Equestria, the land of My Little Pony, complete with realistic air flow.
Nerf Platinum 1300

Nerf Blasters

The NERF range of toys have entertained generations of children and teenagers and include an ever-evolving range of foam dart and water blasters.

In this display, both junior and adult shoppers were offered the chance to experience Nerf blaster products in a fun, yet safe and controlled environment.

Key experience features:

  • Ability for kids and adults to try out their Nerf blaster skills with targets and compete with each other in a fun and entertaining manner
  • Five tethered Nerf blasters
  • Backdrop which returns darts to users.
Pampers Pop Up Store 1300

Pampers pop-up shop

The Pampers name has long been synonymous with disposable nappies. This pop-up shop display was designed by Displayplan to give shoppers the chance to step out of the main shop and into a dedicated space designed to showcase Pampers products.

The goal is to provide target shoppers with the chance to touch and feel Pampers product, using various media to educate and inform shoppers and drive engagement.

Key experience features

  • High impact design featuring a large hanging mobile, light boxes, large images of babies and large format screens
  • Targeted, educational content displays
  • Options for shoppers to view integrated learning videos, touch and feel Pampers products or interact directly with product experts.
Samsung Mead Lake detail

Samsung retail training centre

For Samsung, training retail associates on the history of the Samsung brand as well as on the latest products and technologies is core to success.

Displayplan designed this engaging 750 square metre technical training destination for Samsung retail sales associates across two floors.

 Key experience features:

  • Modular walls allowing training programme managers to create custom room sets to showcase Smart devices within a fully realised ecosystem
  • Visitors are immersed in the 50-year history of Samsung
  • At the same time they can experience and interact with the full range of Samsung products in a carefully recreated real world setting.

In summary

Retail displays designed to offer hands-on, educational, or retailtainment experiences like the ones showcased here perform in a variety of ways.

They appeal – in one way or another – to the senses and emotions of the target shopper, whether the child whisked away to the land of My Little Ponies, or the parent who wants to touch and feel different nappy/diaper products.

In each case, the opportunity is there for the shopper to engage with the brand, to experience the product to become invested in it.

This experience is key to nurturing brand engagement, conversion and, in the longer lifecyle of the product, loyalty.

In summary, it’s about retail experiential performance that generates retail sales performance.

Producing end-to-end retail display solutions that perform – without the drama

Speak with one of Displayplan’s Retail Display Specialists today about your experiential display goals on 01462 88 6000 or email