We experienced some of the hottest retail trends thanks to a recent tour of Paris by local experts.

It’s not often that we need an excuse to go shopping, but when the chance came to try out a spot of shopping tourism we jumped at the chance.

Shopping tourism has emerged thanks to our love of shopping and want to factor it in as part of our travel experiences. Whether the main motivation for a city break or a day out as part of a longer holiday, there are destinations around the world that are developing ‘shopping tourism’ as a concept to attract and engage people with everything they have to offer beyond the usual cultural highlights.

We opted for Paris, taking the lead and expertise to make the most of our time from Paris Shopping tours.

Retail safari for consumers
Leaping on the first flight, we simultaneously experienced shopping and a city trip – all curated by our tour guide, Diana.

By completing a quick questionnaire, Diana knew what would suit us and which brands we should focus on. An experienced stylist, she knew Paris like the back of her hand, which meant the discovery of stores that we would never have found ourselves.

In just three hours we clocked up 10,000 steps, visiting 15 of the most unique independent stores Paris has to offer.

Here are some of our favourite Paris retail trends:

Packaging power
Between two people we managed to collect 10 cloth bags between us. Each and every time we received one, it was the icing on the cake, making our purchase feel even more special. Enveloped in tissue and a branded card thrown in for good measure, added to the delight. What this demonstrated was the power and vital role that beautiful packaging plays in the shopper journey.

Pure pleasure
One of the lingering memories of Paris, was the pure pleasure we took from shopping – an emotion marketers can overlook. Spending time shopping with family or friends should be celebrated as an inherently social and pleasurable affair. Gossiping, giggling and sharing an experience in a wonderfully stress free way is a great way to spend an afternoon, which can be facilitated by helpful, knowledgeable and considerate staff.

Brand ambassadors
The act of taking part in a spot of shopping tourism encouraged us to spend. But while Diane didn’t in any way promote or push us to part with our cash, we felt that this could be a missed opportunity. She could have easily acted as a brand ambassador without us really being any the wiser, which is yet another channel for marketers to consider.

Added value
Just to add to the leisurely pace and pleasure of our tour, most of the proprietors also offered ‘café’ while browsing or trying on clothes. These tranquil little spots, gave you chance to reflect on your purchases and extended our time instore. While this isn’t a new trend it, it does reinforce our belief that retail spaces must engage with all the senses to be a success.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in retail trends and how a Retail Safari could benefit your brand

Sue Benson, Managing Director