A New Era of Retail
Technology has revolutionised the way industries work, this includes the retail industry where technology and innovation are rapidly changing retail from being transactional to now being experiential. Innovation will be the key to maintaining the relevance of retail spaces in the near future, with functional design giving way to engaging experiences that leave a lasting impression. With the demand for commercial space constantly increasing, various industries, including retail are undergoing rapid evolution.
The retail industry is changing, with a marked shift towards denser, more agile spaces, and an emphasis on creating sustainable retail experiences. An example of this is the Samsung Opera House at MG Road, Bengaluru, where you can learn about and test Samsung’s latest products, attend workshops and events, and discover upcoming projects, all in one place. At the Samsung Opera House, Samsung focuses on letting consumers experience the brand. As quoted in the press article by Samsung, “These experiences revolve around transformative technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT)”.
This show, brands have been looking at a significant shift in focus towards retail design that not only adds aesthetic value but also engages with the target audience. Architects and designers have been considering not just how a space can look better but how it can provide a holistic brand experience for consumers. Brands now put a lot of emphasis in making sure that stores are able to communicate the brand’s message to consumers. From a design perspective, this includes how the brand logo, signage, brand colours, and other elements are incorporated in the store’s design. Designers have to also keep in mind that the design of the store has to elicit an emotional connection between the brand and its consumers.
Creating lasting bonds and building on brand loyalty
The more connected someone feels to a space, the more they will want to come back to that space. Another aspect of experiential retail design is to ensure that customers have a memorable experience at the brand’s store so that they keep coming back to the store or engaging in repeat purchases in the future. In order for this to happen effectively, retail design has to work alongside the service provided by the staff at the store. Functional design combined with helpful and effective service will surely lead to memorable brand experience for consumers.
Even with the advent of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores continue to have a unique appeal, as long as they can adapt with the changing expectations of today’s consumers. The demand for retail spaces in shopping malls has risen by over 80% through 2018; and in India, the retail sector is going through a fresh period of growth backed by strong economic fundamentals. Brands that will now continue to become successful are the one that know how to design their stores in a way that people get to experience the brand.