May 10, 2018 / Insight

Key Insights from The Retail Design Expo

Under one roof, retail strategists, creatives and designers all came together to explore the future landscape of retail. Our retail strategy team attended the two day expo to uncover consumer insights, trends and innovative case studies. We highlight our key insights below.

Creativity and co-creation connects

Last year, we explored the case for creativity. Echoing this, Adidas highlighted the a concept of three C’s through a seminar that explored store launches within the US and UK.

The brand articulated the value of putting consumers in the creativity seat by elevating those who interact with the brand as Creators, Connectors, Collaborators. The brand expressed the value of social media to engage with consumers collaboratively, to build a deeper connection and inspire traffic to store.

A most recent example of this was the brand’s collaboration with Daniëlle Cathari. The Dutch designer caught the brand design team’s attention after she experimented with a tracksuit in an original way and posted a picture of the outcome on instagram.

Store experience is a brand’s best product

Resounding around the seminars at the expo was the sentiment that retail design must evoke experiences that are sensory driven, evoke emotion and inspire the imagination. Notable examples included Casper’s first permanent store that opened in New York in the first quarter of this year.

The brand mission was to create a mattress-shopping experience that mimics a Disneyland inspired playground. Interestingly, the brand began its journey as a digital company. However, Casper recognised the value of having a store as a product playground, whereby consumers can truly experience the brand and test products in an imaginative way.

Power of people

Our retail strategy team has been investigating the value of what it means to be human and what this means for retail. Whilst we predicted that the future of retail will be human-facing, it was refreshing to explore a brand that has reflected the role of staff journeys within the store experience. Exploring the rise of ‘face to face’ retail, EE invested in the role of customer/consultant interactions throughout stores.

The brand sought to consider the store as a ‘beautiful workplace’. Through this concept, the phone retailer created a two-person ‘‘services without barriers’ consumer journey which starts with a welcome wall. Following research, the brand learned that a dimension of 600mm was too small for two sets of feet to stand comfortably together. 1200mm was too big, however meeting midway, 900mm was dubbed as a ‘perfect space for both the customer and consumer can stand comfortably without awkwardness. This dimension has been used throughout all stores.

Creating a ‘face-to-face’ centric space not only served to improve the customer experience, but boosted employee moral. As consequence, the brand was awarded as one of the best big companies to work for by The Sunday Times.

Key Takeaways

Create consumer centric shopper journeys through co-creation. Utilise social media as a driver to traffic.

Experience is here to stay. Consider how the role of the senses can create an emotive experience that nurtures loyalty.

Be people first. Create staff journeys within your store experience that inspire meaningful interactions.