Small Business

Consumers Crave ‘Retailtainment’ in Their Shopping Experiences

Digital Signage Today. News FeaturesAugust 11, 2021

While the concept of projection mapping in digital art and displays has been around since the early 1990s, we’ve seen a large uptick in demand for these experiences over the last four years within the art and business communities. Disrupting how projectors have traditionally been used and seen, creative minds and visionaries are propelling projection technology beyond signage and onto magical, awe-inspiring experiences that today’s consumers crave.

As a powerful medium for delivering eye-catching art and digital displays, projection has evolved into a popular tool for creating and adding visually compelling content that makes ordinary surfaces and objects pop with delight. The flexibility of projection allows artists and designers to experiment with digital media and easily change the perception of spaces or objects. Today’s consumers are primarily driven by digital and we are seeing a rise in physical environments shifting in order to blur the lines between the two.

More companies are embracing digital technology and new forms of immersive entertainment are continuously popping up around the world such as the ARTECHOUSE NHKS4220 Bar Illusion or Refik Anadol’s Infinity Room.

Here are a few trends that we believe are contributing to the exponential growth of projection in today’s experiential economy.

Rise in influencer marketing

There’s been a big shift in consumer engagement now that anyone has the ability to influence a brand with the snap of a photo or video. A large amount of consumers look to social media for inspiration, shopping trends, travel advice, and more. While we used to watch TV ads or flip through magazines to plan our next shopping trip or vacation, today consumers have this all in the palm of their hand. This generation is on the hunt for the next Instagramable moment and by using projection to create these opportunities, brands can make a big impact in a cost-effective way.

Experiential retail booming

With a digital portal in our pockets, consumers crave more exciting, engaging and interactive experiences that merge their digital world with the physical spaces around them. There is an element of omnichannel arising with projection technology and we are seeing the retail industry adapt to this more and more as digital retail continues to merge with physical. Additionally, the industry is shifting into this unique concept of what we call “retailtainment.” Delivering a combination of retail and experiential entertainment is what today’s consumers are looking for — experiences not objects.

It’s about going to a mall, socializing and exploring what’s new. From the shopping itself with instant illuminated sales or product highlights to impressive illuminated art sculptures or backdrops for photo ops, projection is at the forefront of bringing the online world to physical spaces and it’s changing the future of retail environments. A good example of this is AREA15 in Las Vegas as a one-stop-shop of illuminations that takes consumers on a wild, immersive adventure through a wonderous mashup of mesmerizing shopping, dining and thrill-seeking experiences.

Advancements in technology

Experiences drive engagement and engagement drives growth; as a result companies are turning more towards display technology for ways to captivate consumers and get them excited about a brand or project. With growing demand, display technology is getting smarter, smaller, more convenient, and affordable. Projectors are even coming in under five pounds and offering different form factors such as a spotlight or mini rectangle. Plus, with a variety of lens options, projectors can fit into tight spaces and project from non-traditional angles, or onto non-traditional surfaces.

Many of today’s projectors offer advanced laser technology for low maintenance and readily available creative software along with edge-blending, motion censoring, stacking, and tiling tools that make it easier than ever for today’s business owners and digital artists to deliver eye-popping experiences inside or outdoors. Driving more foot traffic and engagement by offering something unique that can’t be found elsewhere, today’s projection technology can easily reinvent environments while enhancing operational efficiency without having to change anything but content.

Immersive and engaging is craved

Creating a digitally simulated environment that takes individuals through a memorable experience in the physical world will go a long way as people look for these moments that are richer and more engaging. Particularly in the art world, younger generations are becoming interested in exploring classic art in new ways such as the latest Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience exhibit that is making its way around the world, and digital projection is allowing the creation of these environments that not only displays this special art to the world but also embraces individuals into the artwork for a better understanding of the meaning behind it.

While traditional gallery experiences remain sought-after, we are seeing more and more artists using the power of projection to illuminate artwork that immerses individuals into recreated art from different eras and original one-of-a-kind pieces.

A lot has changed in our society in recent years with the heightened need for shareable moments, thus modifying what people look for in life experiences. Experiential is an evolution required to drive engagement, and projection is a leading technology in today’s digital age that engages, informs and entertains. When we look at how far projection has come in such a short period of time and what it can achieve, it is changing how visionaries create and how consumers take things in by dissolving the boundaries between our physical and digital worlds.



This article was written by Remi Del Mar from Digital Signage Today. News Features and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to