Hyperimmersive Retail Experience

The physical world is the most hyperimmersive retail experience that retailers can enable for customers. Unfortunately, many retailers seem to have forgotten the primary directive: Creating compelling retail experiences in physical locations. Today, many store experiences are less than appealing. Stores are often understaffed, messy, sometimes dirty and suffer from many out-of-stock situations. Yet, customers have been returning to stores, in part as a reaction to the pandemic-era lockdowns easing in many markets, and in part because of the economic issues including inflation. However, retailers that don’t relearn what immersive retail experiences perform in the physical world will not be successful in any other world. Contrary to the much proclaimed end of physical stores, retailers now see them as a way to improve product availability, provide enhanced services, and profitably manage digital fulfillment. My latest research is aimed at reinventing physical and digital experiences that inspire the customer.

Hyperimmersive retail experience in the context of this research is defined as providing, involving or characterized by deep absorption or immersion in shopping. This is an activity occurring in real, virtual, or combined environments, including but not limited to the physical store, digital touchpoints or emerging virtual realms.

To create value in the future retailers must embrace the “primary directive” noted above.  For most retailers, tactics like hyperpersonalization will prove to be a fools errand.  This is because consumers have an endless basket in their brains that must be tapped into.  

The endless basket is Hyperimmersive

Describe the influences of the human buying process

This figure illustrates that shopping is a complex activity that occurs in the mind of the consumer.

Focus on enabling shopping through Hyperimmersive retail experience

The customer doesn’t want you to read their mind, they want you to tantalize it.

Enabling buying is the ultimate goal for retail businesses, but it is a highly discrete action. Unfortunately, by increasingly focusing more and more on the efficient execution of buying, retailers seem to have forgotten how to inspire consumers’ shopping activities. Over the past 10 years, the disruptive impact of e-commerce pure play companies has pushed traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to make the buying process progressively easier and less painful through significant investments in e-commerce, mobile and social commerce, and in expanding last-mile delivery options. These are all good and necessary things, but the relentless drive toward convenience in the buying process has only taken retailers so far, as buying is transactional in nature and only goes part way in encouraging loyalty. 

Hyperimmersive Retail Experience