Consumers have vast buying power and options in the age of e-commerce. They can search for products from their vacation spots, planes, vehicles and homes. The list of places to shop is limitless, but many still shop in brick-and-mortar stores. Retail has shed tremendous losses in the fight to compete with the digital realm, but retailers have found another option. Instead of trying to simulate the online buying experience, they are turning to new ways to create winning experiences. An immersive facilities experience for consumers goes beyond the simple of shopping, creating a dwelling space for consumers, blending art and events, and much more, asserts the South China Morning Post, and the same trend is occurring around the globe. In this realm, water features and waterscapes are creating tranquil, inviting environments, and Facilities Managers need to understand why 2019 will be the year of the unorthodox retail setting.
Water Features Set Retailers Apart
One of the top ways retailers create immersive experiences involves appealing to the senses of consumers. While it may be possible for a single attraction to hit all five senses, water features have the advantage of appealing to four of the five. Guest hears the gentility of water flowing. They see its ripples. They can feel its current, and water elements evoke a slight trick; people can smell the freshness in the air. As noted by Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs of Chain Store Age, the type of fountain or water feature is not necessarily the defining characteristic. They may be large-scale fountains or a simple waterfall. It’s all about the “wow factor.
Interactive Water Features Will Bring in More Revenue in the Coming Year
Water features as wall attractions that leave consumers to shop peace is a misconception. Water features can be extremely interactive, using guest movements and actions to adjust flow rates, change light settings and much more. The level of interaction is related to the dwell time of guests, and therefore, it’s related to the profitability in the company. In fact, shoppers spend an average of $25 more per visit in retailers with interactive water features that create a better facilities experience for consumers.
Consumers Will Seek out Businesses With Water Features
The greatest struggle with e-commerce is attracting consumers. If consumers can shop anywhere, why bother visiting a store? The answer is the experience, and consumers in multiple case studies have taken retailers and businesses with water features by storm. The usefulness of water features is not limited to individual businesses. Shopping centers with water features tend to attract more consumers. Water features may also combine the elements of fire and earth with waterfalls and fire pits throughout the design. Such factors attract a mix of consumers, which attracts a mix of corporate real estate (CRE) tenants. In addition, water media can be activated during both night and day, allowing for a continuous change to the environment that will engage visitors.
Blended Retail and Non-Retail Businesses Create More Opportunities to Increase Dwell Time
Water features are only part of the equation. More retailers will continue to turn to blended experiences to drive increased dwell time. This may include the introduction of restaurants in traditional retail-only spaces, creation of retail health care clinics, and standard processes requiring the use of smart phones to interact with merchandise and point-of-sale systems. The capability to increase dwell time expands when such changes to the environment include the use of interactive features, including waterscapes.