The pandemic has left consumers on a tight budget and much less likely to head to brick-and-mortar locations to purchase gifts. At the same time, shoppers are missing the joys of in-store shopping, with 71% missing discovery and casual browsing, and 73% missing tactile experiences.
This means brands must craft creative online shopping experiences and alternate pick-up and delivery options that will appeal to and actively engage shoppers. In creating an interactive environment that allows shoppers to experience the joys of shopping, Sam’s Club has demonstrated a heightened understanding of the desires of this year’s consumers.
Sam’s Club created a holiday shopping experience with a virtual reality recreation of the Griswold House from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation—complete with decorations and gifts that can be purchased directly through the site. The Griswold family was chosen because of Clark Griswold’s determination to make the season a happy one for all, despite the circumstances.
“Clark’s goal of creating perfect moments and memories for his family for it to be greatly interrupted by things outside of his control is basically the story of 2020,” a representative said in a statement.
The house includes Sam’s Club’s top toys, food, gifts and decor, along with movie trivia and interactive elements throughout the house, such as character Aunt Bethany’s cat wrapped up in a gift box.
The Griswold House recreation is part of a larger initiative by Sam’s Club to provide convenient experiences that bring holiday joy to its customers. The brand is also adding more days of deals, introducing new products, hiring 2,000 supply chain associates to fulfill heightened shipping demand and increasing contactless shopping options.
“Covid-19 has changed how our members shop and the experiences they desire,” said Tony Rogers, chief member officer, Sam’s Club. “We’re listening and evolving our approach to meet their needs.”
Other high-level brands are similarly adapting to an unexpected holiday season. Macy’s launched a virtual Santaland to recreate its typical in-store Santas. Facebook is providing education, resources and training to small and mid-sized businesses to prepare for a virtual shopping influx. Pinterest added shopping features to allow consumers to make purchases through the app.