Four Hot Retail Trends in 2017Pinot's Palette
Whether you’re looking to shop savvy or join the fray as a franchise owner, be on the lookout for these retail trends.
1. Brick and Mortar Expansion
While popular thought held the brick and mortar store as a relic of the past, consumer demand created a surprise renaissance in this category. Now online businesses are expanding into brick and mortar stores. Even Amazon is in on this trend, launching an 1,800-square-foot grocery store in Seattle called Amazon Go. The retail giant also operates a brick and mortar bookstore called Amazon Books as well as pickup locations across the country.
Customer engagement accounts for the reasoning behind online retailers encroaching into physical space. As our increasingly virtual lives grow tiresome, customers long for the touch and smells and sounds of physical engagement with a product.
Pinot’s Palette® has always straddled the brick and mortar vs. online retailer divide. While we have built our brand on beautiful studio spaces equipped for entertainment and relaxation, most of our sales come from our online presence. Customers searching for entertainment options in their area find our website or advertisement, browse, and book a class — all without ever stepping foot in a studio. Because we are not as dependent on drive-by and foot traffic as traditional retailers, we have put in place an aggressive digital marketing strategy. Coupled with the sensory experiences of our studios, this strategy has helped us excel in today’s digital economy.
2. Marketing the Experience
More and more brands are looking to create memorable experiences for their customers. This strategy is particularly important for millennials, a demographic that values experiences more than possessions. In fact, an Eventbrite poll found that 78 per cent of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable. Similar to the draw of brick and mortar stores, creating a compelling experience leaves an impression that lasts and promotes return customers.
Of course, Pinot’s Palette embraces this experience with our mission of “Paint. Drink. Have Fun.” Even though an evening painting and drinking wine with friends sounds delightful enough already, we up the ante to cater to every aspect of the customer experience. From studio lighting that provides just the right ambiance, to an artist greeting customers with a friendly welcome at the door, to fun music pulsating through the space, we make sure that every detail is in place to create an excellent paint and sip experience. We have paid attention to these small details that lead to an enhanced customer experience since our inception, and in fact, these touches are one of our biggest differentiators within the paint and sip industry.
3. Changing Male Spending Habits
Traditionally, women have been the lead purchasers for most households, shopping for both necessity and leisure. But now men are indulging in more retail purchases, even surpassing women in some measures. And their spending habits differ from women’s, with men more likely to favor shopping online. In fact, men’s online fashion retailers are exploding, with menswear projected to contribute an annual $460 billion to the global clothing and footwear market by 2020. Coinciding with online purchases, men are more likely to be last-minute shoppers, with a report from ticketing app TodayTix showing that men are 30% more likely than women to purchase tickets on the same day as the show.
Pinot’s Palette is paying attention to these changing spending habits and targeting select promotions specifically to the male audience. In February, we launched a Disconnect to Reconnect campaign that gave men the opportunity to show their partners that they value spending quality time together. Connecting over wine and painting is not an exclusively female pursuit, and we want to make sure men know that Pinot’s Palette has plenty to offer them.
4. Product and Service Reviews
Consumers are increasingly relying on online reviews to help them determine how and where to spend their hard-earned dollars. The Local Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal offers some interesting statistics about this trend, including:
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
- 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important
- 70% of consumers will leave a review if asked
- 73% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant
These statistics show just how important getting positive reviews is to the success of a company. In an online economy, these reviews can make or break a business. And Pinot’s Palette understands their importance, proactively requesting customer reviews. After someone attends an event with us, we send out a follow-up survey that allows the customer to rate their experience and submit comments. If they leave a positive review, we give them links to Yelp and Google and request that they post their Pinot’s Palette review on those sites, too. We also have an efficient process for reaching out to customers, allowing studio owners to quickly connect with customers to handle issues.
Additionally, we partner with a digital marketing company that supports local listings. This company makes sure that all local listing sites across the internet display the correct information for individual Pinot’s Palette locations. This helps the SEO value for individual Pinot’s Palette websites and gives our studios more exposure for additional customer reviews.
Changing retail trends can cause retailers confusion about best practices and marketing strategies. Pinot’s Palette paint and sip franchise owners don’t need to worry. Our corporate marketing team researches these trends and develops effective strategies. We’re happy to pass these strategies on to our franchisees so that they can focus on their primary mission of creating entertaining experiences for our customers.