The ‘insperience economy’ is giving new hope to retailers post-coronavirus, as demand for in-home products and services has encouraged brands to form cross-sector partnerships to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for consumers.
New research from Barclaycard Payments, which processes nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions, reveals that a third (33 per cent) of retailers launched innovative products and services designed specifically to be used at home during the months of lockdown. Dubbed the ‘insperience economy’, half of retailers with existing insperience offerings have teamed up with other brands with 78 per cent considering similar future brand partnerships.
This figure rises to 85 per cent for medium sized businesses, and jumps to 92 per cent for businesses who have already launched an insperience in the last three months – indicating that cross-sector partnerships are providing a new lucrative revenue stream.
Demand for insperiences during lockdown has seen successful brand partnerships between sectors, such as recipe box companies joining forces with famous chefs – and even traditionally rival restaurants – to bring new food pairings direct-to-door. Similarly, alcohol and food companies have teamed up to offer a one-stop-shop service, while sports brands have collaborated with the technology sector to offer new, digital in-home experiences.
For businesses with both a physical and online presence, 82 per cent are likely to partner with another brand, sitting at 78 per cent for those who are online only. While retailers with a purely physical presence are the least likely to work with another brand to launch an insperience, a significant 60 per cent are considering potential tie-ups in the future.
Insperiences are here to stay
The trend toward insperiences looks set to remain even as lockdown restrictions ease. Almost nine in 10 (88 per cent) retailers have seen increased demand for in-home experiences over the last three months and of those who do offer at-home services, 88 per cent have seen insperience sales increase as a result. Such is the popularity of the insperience economy that retailers predict it to be worth £168 million in the next year.
In addition to a new and exciting revenue stream, retailers cite increasing brand awareness (75 per cent), creating a new point of contact with consumers (73 per cent), and establishing themselves as trusted partners in their sector (70 per cent) as key motivations for continuing to develop their insperience offering.
Shoppers are also in agreement, with two fifths (39 per cent) more likely to remember a brand once they have participated in an insperience, and 35 per cent feeling insperiences help them to form a more personal brand relationship.
The top five sectors most likely to partner with another brand to launch an Insperience are: department stores (92 per cent), books and stationery (91 per cent), food & drink (88 per cent), healthcare and beauty (88 per cent) and technology and electricals (88 per cent.
Kirsty Morris, managing director of account development at Barclaycard Payments, said: “Lockdown has undoubtedly been challenging for retailers, but it’s promising to see how many have been quick to cater their product lines to consumers looking for entertainment and personalised products while at home.
“One of the most interesting trends we’ve uncovered is the surge in partnerships between different brands where they combine their joint skills and expertise to enhance the insperiences they provide. Cross-sector partnerships are clearly proving fruitful, and with the demand for insperiences set to stay even as lockdown restrictions ease, it’s likely we’ll see many more brands leverage this trend in the months ahead.”