Experiences are critical for the future of business. You want to know what's more important than experiences? Shared experiences. Ones that can't be replicated, that are unique and personal to your business, and ones that the customers of today can't live without. Shops, hotel lobbies and restaurants all come up short when it comes to integrating fun creative digital experiences into the ambience of their space.
One very simple way to begin accommodate the ever-engaged customers is to simply provide complementary and easily accessible Wi-Fi on-site at your establishment. This simple yet actionable step allows the patron to create real-life (UGC) content with your venue and share it with the world, all-inclusive while already patronizing and investing in your services, and it is the first step in saying you are ready to play digital media ball.
One hotel in Sydney has gone as far as create an ambience with special perks to accommodate snap-happy guests by giving away 1 free night to guests with more than 10,000 followers and a free night to the most creative photo post each month. Each establishment will have different way on how to engage their guest, however guests will have their own ideas and expectations of how they want to engage.
Managing diners' experiences and expectations on busy nights at restaurants is all in a day's work for the hosts. By experimenting with some new innovative ways to approach waitlist, you can demonstrate inventiveness by offering the convenience of simply Yo'ing your guest instead of intrusively asking for their cell phone number: The tool lets people in waiting rooms or restaurant lobbies know how far along they are in the line and notifies them with a "Yo" when they're ready to go. Patrons have to have the Yo app and an account on the service to use it, which is fairly easy to download and register quickly, and Yo has been installed 2 million times. (Source: Mashable.)
Additional ways to offer custom sharing experiences for the guest is setting up preloaded event names on Facebook, Foursquare, and Instagram to create further personalization and amplification. Both parties benefit here by enjoying the benefits of deeper social engagement and promotion. Letting everyone know what name to check in under and hashtag to use is most essential.
Oftentimes retailers that cater to the elite have no idea who the shopper is when they walk through the doors of a high-end boutique simply based on looks. Technologies like Veritamo allow the service agent to know who it is through location aware technologies and an ability to immediately pull their profile to provide superior customer service to established clients.
In addition, for the most part, luxury brands on Facebook still have their Wall closed, thus not allowing potential and existing customers to ask questions, leave commentary or have a direct line of communication with the retail shop, thus leaving potential buying and building rapport opportunities on the table.
Soon, very soon you will be able to make a purchase from your Twitter account with a push of a button for in-Tweet purchase making the buyer experience ever-so-smooth and delectable. Of course the usual suspects like @Burberry are already onboard, along with swanky @Pharrell and the ever-so-cool @Gumroad ready to provide one-of-kind Twitter buying experiences.
One of the benefits of this model is the ability to run flash sales from virtual pop-up stores which will avail manufacturers to do small runs and test out new products to get consumer response and gauge what products are actually desired. This not only benefits the consumer by availing them one-of-a-kind items, but also allows the manufacturers to design based on consumer preferences thus making only what will sell which is good for both the company and the planet:
"13.1 million tons of textile waste goes into this nation's landfills each year (95% of it recyclable); 1,800 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pair of jeans; and 20,000 annual deaths worldwide can be attributed to the pesticides used in growing the textiles needed to support the industry." Wear No Evil by Greta Eagan.
Similarly, this summer Facebook begun testing Buy button, showing a button next to items scrolling by in the newsfeed with an ability to purchase direct from store in the Facebook experience. It even lets you autofill the stored information from previous purchases on Facebook, making the social buying experience that much more smooth.
The difference between an ideal luxury social experience and an optimization miss can mean thousands in lost revenue and positive amplification for the business. When it comes to social shopping this feauture could be the uptake marketers have been waiting for all along:
"Almost non-existent in the early days, we have made significant leaps forward in analytics, however, most retailers are still in the early phases of connecting social data into their internal systems, like CRM," Brian Michael Murch said. "The integrity of analysis will be paramount to retailers who are most concerned with ensuring consistency of offers, branding, and customer service and how your brand experience is kept positive and whole throughout the lifecycle."
Number of ways in which to satisfy and 'wow' is now at an all-time-high and businesses can provide countless ways to satisfy the urge to buy. More and more our society craves deeper more immediate access to purchase and share, asking for an almost a gamified seamless approach to the buying experience from every retailer, restaurant and hotel in the premier market. Connecting the dots for high-end consumers will be what sets establishments apart, it is how fast they adapt to trends and availed technologies that will allow them to create customized cutting edge experiences on and offline.
Main image credit: Business Insider