Shoppers—millennials, in particular—have become more interested in collecting experiences than spending money on physical goods, said Virginia Morris, vice president of global consumer and innovation strategy at Daymon Worldwide.
As a result, smart retailers have recognized that creating a sensory experience in their stores can help create buzz by engaging consumers, and encouraging them to spread that experience across social media.
Read More5 things shoppers hate about loyalty programs
She pointed to a recent campaign by VF Corp's The North Face as an example. Last month, the outdoor apparel retailer launched a virtual reality initiative at its Chicago store, through which shoppers are virtually placed in Yosemite National Park and Moab, Utah, via 360-degree 3-D audio and video. The technology has since expanded to one of the brand's New York City stores, and is headed for San Francisco in May.
"It's all about that thrill-seeking, man-over-nature kind of approach," Morris said. "For a lot of these brands yes, lots of eyeballs are great, but what I want as a brand is I want a connection."