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Retail Activation: Increasing Consumer Engagement, Driving Sales, and Fuelling Data Collection

Updated: May 2

Australian consumer demand for events is high, with a recent Eventbrite

Australia survey showing nine out of 10 Australian and New Zealand event

goers plan to attend as many, or more events in 2024 as they did in 2023.

As a retailer, however, it’s not always easy to budget for live events, especially

when there are so many other marketing initiatives that also require funding.

Prioritisation is the name of the game, as is ROI: marketing leaders must

decide which strategies yield the highest results with minimal investment and

prioritise those strategies.

Fortunately, we can help. According to a recent AnyRoad survey, retail

activations and events have the highest marketing opt-in rates of all events:

61%, compared to the overall event average of 35%.

Other benefits of retail activation events includes a long list of increases:

increased brand awareness, consumer engagement, sales, loyalty, data

collection, and more.

So while these events do require an investment, the potential for high ROI is

there. Like everything in marketing, though, your results will depend on how

well you “get it.

”We know that consumers respond well to retail activation events, but how can

retailers maximise the impact of these events? Here are six crucial

components of successful retail activation.

Montblanc Interactive Window. Retail Activation: Increasing Consumer Engagement, Driving Sales, and Fuelling Data Collection

The Six Components of Successful Retail Activation Events

Entertainment: Duh. Give potential customers a reason to stop what

they’re doing and participate in your event (which can be a sidewalk pop-

up stand, store display window, trade show, etc. Anything goes in retail


Connection: Connect with your consumers about values they hold dear.

Sustainability, ethical fashion, value for money, and cost are top values for

Australian consumers — can your event incorporate one or more of these

to forge a strong connection with your target audience?

Sales and loyalty incentives: The main reason that marketing opt-ins are

so high at retail activation events is that customers have clear incentives

in front of them — both to make purchases and sign up for loyalty

programs on the spot. Take advantage of this forum to put your best

incentives on the table, which can result in an immediate increase in

sales, a high quantity of data, and loyal consumers.

Technology: Use technology to create interactive/immersive in-person

experiences. You should also use it to enhance data collection, glean

consumer insights, personalise experiences, streamline customer service,

and more.

Social sharing: You’ve probably heard the age-old pondering,

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The

modern version of this would be, “If an event happens IRL (in real life) but

no one posts about it on social media, did it really happen?

As far as marketing leaders are concerned, the answer is no. If your event

takes place IRL but doesn’t get any social coverage, it may as well not

have happened.

The most successful brand activations engage and immerse consumers

at retail locations/events and make the experience so enjoyable that

attendees feel compelled to share their joy on social media.

If you’re concerned about whether your event has what it takes to be

shared, take an active stance: encourage attendees to share posts and

photos, either through a themed campaign with hashtags or with

consumer incentives.

Measuring ROI: Define the goal of your activation event and the metrics

by which you will measure it: opt-ins, attendees, data collection, sales,

loyalty program sign-ups, app downloads, etc. You may also have event

goals and post-event goals. Differentiate and make sure you have a

standardised way of measuring your success.

And of course, your brand should make noise about its activation event

on its own social channels.

Case study: Montblanc: After-Hours Test Drive (Interactive Window Display)

Montblanc approached us to create an interactive experience for consumers

that would allow them to explore the new Summit 3 smartwatch during closed

hours of its brick-and-mortar stores.

We created a 1.5m replica of the watch, which we set up in store display

windows in Paris, London, and Beijing. People walking by on the street

could scan a QR code and interact with the watch in the window, explore its

features, and book an appointment in-store during open hours.

The activation was a huge success, with 31% of users filling in the booking form.

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