With online shopping set to double over the next three years, commitment from brands to create the ultimate offline shopping experience will see designers continue to push the boundaries of retail design even more so in 2016.
The key to the narrative of any brand is aligning online and offline shopping experiences. The results of a carefully considered retail design have a tangible impact on a business, such as increase in footfall and returning customers, as well as differentiating from competitors and ensuring a brand is correctly positioned. Without a doubt, effective retail spaces will ultimately help a customer understand, learn and enjoy the products on offer.
In this post we review some of the innovative ways in which store design can create a unique and definitive shopping experience.
The store environment should be an immersive experience, as it really is the chance for a brand to come to life. Even when floor space is minimal and stock levels lower, it shouldn’t be any less of a stimulating experience. If anything it will mean turning up the volume on the design aspects of a fit-out, which is one of the reasons integrating digital technology is becoming an integral complementary shopping asset. Whether it’s simply to enhance an offering, educate or allow a customer to share their shopping story – digital devices are often slender and stylish, and thus add quality to a décor scheme. Just look to Burberry or Uniqlo‘s ‘magic mirror’ technology.
Design elements which incorporate surrounding culture or relics indicative to the store’s locality also add a sense of realism and individuality – a humble nod of appreciation and recognition of its uniqueness. This also allows a brand to display individuality without diluting its identity. For instance, the fashion label Ted Baker has ensured each of their stores tells a unique and detailed story, which always draws on the character of the store’s surrounding area – as seen below the in the interior of its Amsterdam store.
A wowing window display that entices an individual through the door is the start of a shopping experience, it’s then the visual presentation inside that continues the journey in a manner appeasing to the potential buyer. It’s at this point a store fit-out needs to be sympathetic to the ever-changing trends, merchandise and seasonal displays without taking the principle of ‘blank canvas’ to the extreme. Flagship stores set the precedent with bold, conceptual designs – often with amusement and attraction taking priority. However, when it comes to smaller stores, the key is relevance and beautiful streamline displays stylised by the brand’s identity.
A well designed retail space will guide a person through the store with ease. Easily achieved in various ways, but most simply and effectively using zoning and walkways. Designers have the ability to be as subtle or as bold as they like when it comes to flooring design – it’s an element that can have an understated presence.
As Victoria Evans, interior designer at The Drawing Room Interiors, tell us, “flexibility in flooring is a vital element as it allows you to create zoning to guide a customer through the store…using a combination of sizes, colours and textures to break up the space to add visual interest.”
When a buyer makes a purchase, they’re essentially investing in the brand, and really, what screams ‘worth it’ more than visual evidence a brand has invested in itself, through meticulously attention to detail and quality of design? Not only in order to showcase its products, but to connect a consumer to its identity with an engaging experience.