What’s in store? 3 must-haves in a 2019 retail fitout
The retail industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past decade, and it continues to evolve quickly. More and more, consumers are shopping with their emotions instead of their wallets. While e-commerce is having a significant impact on bricks and mortar stores, there is still a valuable place for brands to have an ‘offline’ presence that provides irreplaceable interpersonal experiences.
How then, can retailer’s navigate the changes in shopping behaviours to better suit the changing needs of their customers?
The customer takes centre stage.
How do you like to feel when entering a retail store? Warm? Welcomed? But not smothered? And that’s all before you’ve even spoken to anyone. A consumer will decide whether to enter a new space, based on their first impression and its ability to draw an emotional response. Today’s brands are redesigning customer experiences to leverage the power of digital, physical, and social connection. By building new experiences and services around a brand, retailers create new opportunities to fulfil consumers’ desires, build attachment, and generate value for the business and their customers.
Sell the experience. Not the product.
A quick walk through a shopping centre will quickly highlight the change in retail’s focus – now keenly on creating culture and experience rather than just selling the product. With millennials (the generation responsible for the future of this sector) valuing experiences over ‘things’, there’s a trend to offer more interactive experiences. This can be done through technology and effective design and use of the space.
A brand is more than a logo.
A strong brand story that is experienced through a physical store and supported in a valuable online presence, will see consumers dig deeper into their pockets as they increasingly shop with their hearts, rather than their heads.
As consumers move away from shopping for products and instead seek out engaging experiences, brands will need to stand out with a strong sense of identity for customers to connect to, at all touchpoints. Bold connections are important; brand colour placement, signage and slogans. But equally important are the subtle connections made through experiential factors from lighting, texture and even smell.
Retailers are quickly adopting the mindset of removing complexity from the day-to-day lives of their customers, with smart brands taking consumer convenience and experience to new places. While online shopping and technology are plugged as key factors in determining consumer trends and behaviours, we know that is the people behind the screens and their desire for ‘experience’ that will really have the greatest impact on the future of this industry.
AC Fitouts are experts in creating fitout solutions that provide meaningful and memorable experiences, for both the retailer and consumer.