No, it’s nothing to do with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie ‘Total Recall’. Rather, Total Retail was coined by accountancy group PwC for its annual report of the same name. In short, it refers to the need to create a unified ‘brand story’ across all retail channels – a growing necessity at a time when people shop in so many different ways.
Bricks and clicks working together
The background to Total Retail is that footfall to physical stores has suffered as a result of online shopping, and that customers now mix ‘clicks’ and ‘bricks’. It’s also a response to a complex retail market where barriers to entry are now virtually non-existent.
At the same time, consumers have never been more demanding: they know what they want – convenience, variety, simplicity and personalisation – and they want it now. That’s the big challenge for retailers.
“The retail industry is in revolution. A model that’s worked for decades is being reshaped before our very eyes, as people change not only how they buy, but what they buy and where they buy it.” PwC, Total Retail
Ok. What should retailers do?
Brands who want to gain traction with the new consumers should be aware of their unpredictability. They should create systems that are simple and seamless for both retailer and consumer; look at social media and smartphone activity as well as in-store experiences. Finally, they should make sure that all these retail experiences tally up into one larger brand proposition.
Fragrance as part of Total Retail
As Total Retail is about taking your customer on a journey that’s always consistent and on-brand, the ideal is for the brand fragrance to exist in both offline and online channels.
Premium Scenting’s research has found that 74 per cent of consumers have been drawn into a store because of an inviting smell. Now, imagine if that scent were to return to your home in your shopping, to be enjoyed later… that’s the potential of Total Retail.
As Professor Charles Spence highlights in Premium Scenting’s Business Impact of Scent Report:
“I firmly believe that no matter what one is selling, there is the opportunity to use scent more effectively in the marketplace. I see companies from food through white goods, from hotel chains through clothing outlets starting to harness the power of smell, or olfactive marketing. Sometimes, this is to create a signature scent, sometimes it’s to deliver a more congruent, memorable, stimulating environment or even to enhance the well-being of their customers. My sense, too, is that the more those customers are exposed to successful TOTAL RETAIL, the more they will expect it across the board. In fact, it may not be too long before customers start complaining about those stores that don’t deliver olfactive experiences.”