Retailers are providing customers with additional assistance like holiday helpers and personalized gift guides this holiday season for a more efficient and supportive shopping experience

One way for retailers to build customer loyalty is to provide trusted support and service that goes beyond the product. Accordingly, brands are responding with store concepts and digital marketplaces that connect consumers with vetted services that help them get the most out of their purchases and integrate more seamlessly into their daily lives.

From in-store gift guides and product demos to petcare consultations, retailers are enhancing the way customers are exposed to their products. Here's how three top brands are implementing activations that create a more interactive and seamless shopping experience just in time for holiday shopping:

Goop created popup shops in San Francisco, Dallas and Manhasset, New York, called Goop GIFT, to bring the digital gift guide to life. Customers who purchase products in-store gain access to special touches like calligraphy, gift wrapping and other types of personalization.

Walmart tried something new: 20,000 in-store holiday ‘parties.' The events, designed to boost in-store traffic, featured product demos and “holiday helpers” who aided shoppers in finding gifts and checking out. It's unclear to what extent these parties influenced foot traffic, but it's likely that more retailers this year will experiment with similar interactive promotions and activities.

Pet retailer Petco opened a cashierless, service-focused pet care store called PetCoach, which offers a range of services for pets with a limited selection of merchandise found in standard Petcos. Located in San Marcas, California, PetCoach will provide the standard grooming and training services of the franchise, and it will also offer veterinary services, day care, and walking and nutrition consultations.

For more examples of how retailers are incorporating service-oriented activations to drive engagement, visit PSFK's report Holiday 2018 Retail & Brand Experience Strategies.