Retailers must explore the sensorial aspects of the customer experience to ensure consumers engage with physical spaces as digital competitors continue to rise.
Speaking at Publicis London's Rare Minds event, Paul Schütze, artist, perfumer and multi-sensory experiential consultant, stressed the importance of offering the "connected consumer" a distinctly embodied experience to "deploy all the things that you can’t do online and that absolutely will guarantee engagement".
"About the time we started exploring the idea of making more complicated environments for retail was about the same time people became very embedded in their tablets and phones," he said. "There is this move away from stimulus on the part of the general population and then a need to engage them on the part of retail."
Despite the threat that online shopping poses to physical retail spaces, Schütze believes that consumers do still want to be engaged in the physical experience of shopping. "The fact that Amazon has decided to open physical spaces is really significant," he commented.