Welcome to the Co-Creative Retail Experience Economy

The National Retail Federation projects that 2018 spending at retail is expected to be 4.5% over last year which is reason to be optimistic. Is the growth coming from consumers who are returning to brick and mortar stores or consumers buying more online? The answer is a resounding yes but what in retail is driving this growth?

This past year we visited hundreds of stores in the United States and Europe as part of our Retail Store Tours program and found many examples of why some retail businesses are booming.

Apple, Sephora, Eataly, Fredric Malle, Tiffany, Suit Supply, Mont Blanc and hundreds of others had one common trait, a uniquely personal experience informed by sales associates and augmented by technology.

Joseph Pine and James Gilmore wrote in their book The Experience Economy, that “experiences are a distinct economic offering, as different from services as services are from goods.” The book written in the late 1990’s did not consider the role of smartphone or digital commerce as Amazon at the time was a four-year-old company. The rise of digital and the always on economy have created an intersection where meaningful retail experiences drive sales.

Jeremy Duimstra (Co-Founder and CEO, MJD Interactive) and I will be discussing this at the NRF 2019 Retail’s Big Show will feature the “Co-Creative Economy: How Successful Brands Use Technology to Drive Sales.”

We know that all retailers know the value of a good narrative. However, the most successful retailers are taking their narratives to the next level by embracing the “Co-Creative Economy” – the deployment of innovative technology that profitably enables unique collaborations between customers and store sales associates within the framework of a brands core promise. We will discuss how brands like the Container Store, Apple, Levi Strauss, Sephora spur sales by elevating the in-store experience with experiential technology.