Retail Design report trend
We open the OFD:LAB section with this contribution, a space open to the discussion and the comparison of creative ideas, to talk about and to go into the subjects of design, which is an integral part of our job but also our passions.
First, we would like to talk about one amongst the most exciting subjects and that introduces itself powerfully, the Retail Design. The purchasing experience has an acknowledged and established role by now: hence, it is natural to invest more and more resources in the planning of the spaces dedicated to the Shopping Experience. In a historic moment in which the on-line purchasing sees a continuous growth, the ‘non-virtual’ strategies to attract clients in shops become yet more hardened, and for this reason more interesting!
For this reason, the planning proposals by the chains of shops and the whole retail area, are developing in ever new ways, each one is searching for ground-breaking ideas that no-one had, so as to amaze. However, at the same time macro tendencies are also emerging, trends that spread in a universal way.
One of the most interesting moods is the one concerning technology: it is not anymore only about integrating innovation inside the stores; it is also about developing the store concept with an integrated technology approach, which is an essential part of the shopping experience. In a world in which everyone is on-line, we need to find the way to integrate and tap at one’s own benefit this situation. The on-line experience does not have to be a competing channel, but a complementary one to use in a proactive way. For instance, several companies have already thought about exploiting the QR code, a product patterns to plan a tailor-made product and accomplish it in real time, customised App to skip the queues at the checkout or verify the availability of the chosen products, the traceability of the chain of product with the RFID.
We hear more and more talking about a world that goes around us, “custom-made” and tailored. We are already self-referential and therefore it becomes natural to expect a customisation induced also in spaces appointed to the shopping. The challenge is to realize chains of stores, franchising networks spread through a standard and repeatable procedure, but understood by consumers as if it was the place where a sort of ‘film’ is made, realized based on one’s own wishes. The selection, therefore the whole strategy of visual merchandising, has to be adjusting very carefully, consistent and focused. The storytelling of products does not only carry out in advertising campaigns but it has to continue inside the retail areas as well. We cannot convey the idea that we are there to sell, but we must find the way to embrace the consumer, to earn the trust of the client: the path to foster customer’s loyalty passes through immaterial elements.
The clients must be able to imagine themselves as artners of the brand they love, thanks to the active role of gathering ideas or promoting the product becoming the testimonial of the brand. Having the possibility to express one’s own opinion means to give mouthpiece to the positive reviews and to the opinions of whom has already finalized a purchase. We can positively influence the ones gravitating around the store and who still does not know our store or chain of stores.
Multisensory is widespread: also if different means to put it into practise does not end. The sensory retailing suggests creating an experience that by itself has to involve as many senses as possible to be efficient. It is right through the senses that we can convey the idea of the producto itself and be there directly in the subconscious of the prospective consumer. Inside the stores engaging music is not enough, there is the need to organise fashion shows, cooking classes, workshop of various kinds, live music, free product tests, a personal shopper giving personalized attention to the clients on particular days. Here the imaginary is the host, and it is essential that the layout of the store is compatible with such needs and that can be fit in the shortest time as possible.
The planning begins with an in-depth analysis, from here follows the implementation of the concept: it is important to understand what the values are, the planning has to translate into reality the philosophy of the brand, developing a precise and original identity that allows it to distinguish and win against the competitors. We see many examples here as well: the ones dedicated to the environmental and ecological aspects, the ones who want to recreate informal situations, the ones aiming at locally produced goods, and the ones dedicated to the handicraft aspect.
These are just a few of the traced outlining aspects: with time passing we could say what trends will come into sight in an effective way and thus carry on their own development and spreading process. Surely, some of them will disappear and others will emerge.
Several considerations that we suggested have been the basis for the ‘Food in Progress’ project development: here is how popular and cognitive concepts can be put into practice in the real world. Thanks to a thoughtful planning and development adjustment of an innovative concept it could be possible to carry out a project that conveys a high qualitative level thanks to space solutions that are functional to the needs of communicating the values of the brand and the philosophy of a retailing to go unique in its genre. A distinctive image and design, to capture and drag clients into a shopping experience created from the fusion between brand’s values and the tastes of the aimed target.