How Retailers Used Fun And Games For Unique Holiday Engagements

How Retailers Used Fun And Games For Unique Holiday Engagements
Retail

The 2017 holiday season saw retailers using gamified engagements and experiential purchase paths to draw customers into stores

PSFK
  • 26 february 2018

With all the festive warmth and energy of a holiday banquet, you’d be forgiven if you mistook some retailer’s holiday strategies as a large party for their customers. From free samples of holiday treats and surprise Santa Claus appearances to in-store classes and games for special deals and discounts, retailers used the holidays to turn their stores into experiential gateways that drove foot traffic.

As online shopping continues to cannibalize the brick-and-mortar retail industry, the stores that remain along the walkways at the mall are using physical spaces to their advantage, creating unique in-store experiences that can’t be replicated online, with a focus on customer engagement, education or just plain fun.

In examining the most successful retail strategies of the 2017 holiday season, PSFK researchers identified two key trends that drove customers into stores: gamified engagements, where interactive game experiences are used to reinvigorate the typical purchase path, and experiential purchasing, where in-store parties, activities and other targeted experiences are used to educate or entertain shoppers. Below, we look at three examples.

Tysons Corner Center 
Tysons Corner Center in Northern Virginia hosted Black Friday festivities, including free events, classes and samples, to draw people into the mall for in-store shopping experiences. Organizers began planning over a year and a half in advance in response to more shoppers choosing to buy online.

Lancôme 
Lancôme celebrated the holidays in Hong Kong with an interactive game and pop-up at the Hong Kong International Airport. Passersby had the chance to try a digital game called the ‘Journey of Holiday Wonder,’ which sent players on a journey with digital ‘boarding passes’ to a pop-up shop where they could redeem a free sample of Lancôme’s Miracle Secret fragrance.

Target
Target hosted holiday perks that included photo booths for shoppers to take a photo with a digital Santa. On weekends in December, shoppers were able to sample holiday treats and participate in interactive demonstrations.

These are just a few ways that retailers creatively used the holiday season as a means of bringing customers together and making the path to purchase a bit more fun and exciting. For more insights from PSFK researchers on the most successful holiday marketing and retail strategies of 2017, check out our recent report, Recap: Holiday 2017 Marketing & Retail Strategies.


Lead Image: Adam Hunger/AP Images for Target

With all the festive warmth and energy of a holiday banquet, you’d be forgiven if you mistook some retailer’s holiday strategies as a large party for their customers. From free samples of holiday treats and surprise Santa Claus appearances to in-store classes and games for special deals and discounts, retailers used the holidays to turn their stores into experiential gateways that drove foot traffic.

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+beauty
+Brand Introduction
+chat a researcher
+china
+experiential marketing
+Experiential Marketing
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+Gaming & Play
+holidays
+pop up
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+retail
+Shopper Marketing
+Shopper Marketing & Promotion
+target
+technology

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