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Entertainment within the Retail Experience Economy

Full report: The Retail Experience Economy: The Behavioural Revolution

Entertainment within the Retail Experience Economy

The value of entertainment within the retail experience economy

Structural changes in UK retail have seen economic value shift towards experiences. Consumers now expect more, and thanks to technology, they can have those needs met. Entertainment has played a key role in the human experience throughout history, but in day’s age of digital delights, what role does entertainment play in retail and just how much do consumers value being entertained while shopping?

Such structural shifts have elicited ways to measure experiences. One model is the Retail Experience Economy Model and it identifies Environment, Escapism, Entertainment, and Education as four key factors in determining a customer’s shopping experience. Our research found that 22% of respondents identified Entertainment as the most important aspect of a meaningful shopping experience, hence it’s up to retailers to provide attention-grabbing and captivating content to create absorbing experiences. 


Retail Experience Economy Model


What kind of roles does entertainment fulfil within retail?

Contextually, Entertainment encompasses everything from live product demonstrations, to glitzy fashion shows, to celebrity book signings and even live streaming. These types of events help to nurture brands and create communities, as well as igniting passion, which can be shared with friends and family by word-of-mouth and via social media.

Interestingly, this type of experience also gives some power back to the retailer. Capturing the attention of shoppers can lead to increased dwell times, resulting in higher spend and conversions, as well as the development of a deeper loyalty.

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This work forms part of a wider piece of research and is a downloadable in pdf format


Consumers are willing to pay for a meaningful experience

Our customer survey shows that a quarter of respondents would be willing to pay more for the same product if it means they would receive a meaningful experience while purchasing it. Unsurprisingly, our research also shows that younger consumers rank entertainment as the most important experience when shopping (chart below).

Importance of Entertainment experience by age

Millennials and Gen Zs pave the way for future retail experiences

The entertainment experience must cater for shorter attention spans, increased expectation of free products, social media-backed trust and transparency of views. Millennials and Gen Zs represent the future path of retail, and as they become more commercially significant, retailers need to adapt their experience offerings to an audience that is more mobile, social, collaborative, and technologically integrated.

“22% of survey respondents identified Entertainment as the most important aspect of a meaningful shopping experience

As we head further into the 2020s, and with the advancement of technology delivering stunning digital experiences, entertainment will become an integral part of the successful retailer’s proposition. Concept stores facilitating a range of activities (integrated with retail) is forecast to become more commonplace.


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Found this short article interesting?

This insight article forms part of a thought leadership report entitled “The Retail Experience Economy: The Behavioural Revolution”. It was produced by Retail Economics in partnership with Squire Patton Boggs and looks at a comprehensive range of factors that impact consumer behaviour across four key realms of experience.

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