Retail Design Expo

We were excited to visit Retail Design Expo once again this year, and it did not disappoint!

 

Over the two days we made the most of the expo and the seminar series, getting to as many talks and stands as possible. For some of us this is one of our highlights of the year and we might (*definitely) already be counting down the days until next year.

 

Here’s 10 things we learnt from the speakers at Retail Design Expo:

 

1.

The physical experience is still relevant and still matters, and if you are physical then you are credible. The physical experience is the most important impression that designers can make, and we need to give people something remarkable.

 

2.

The consumer of the future is already among us, and the technology is already here. We need to look towards smart cities to help define strategies.

 

3.

Shopping centres need to be a destination of choice, and delivery new destination experiences. They need to have the best brands and the best leisure experiences. Shopping centres now need to be flexible providing both the physical space and the experience itself.

 

4.

Break down the barriers and blur thresholds, create open environments that are less committing for customers.

 

5.

Create perishable moments and reward customers with a sensory experience for visiting. If we encourage discovery, then customers will leave enlightened, with brand knowledge, or a product.

 

6.

We’re all now buying more than we need and losing the enjoyment of shopping and receiving. Retail spaces need to create ‘special connections’ to add value once again to receiving something, and reward customers for the time and effort they have put in.

 

7.

Retail is in a constant state of change, and stores need to become a canvas for constant change. Customer expectations need to be understood, and then exceeded.

 

8.

Retail is like a theatre: the stores are the theatre and designers are the set designers. In retail spaces every sense needs to be attracted, and integrated with the digital experience.

 

9.

Stores are storytelling devices, and the story of a brand needs to be real. Create a need and offer customers something they didn’t know they wanted and a fully interactive environment. Create a consistent and distinctive brand personality, be inspiring and take customers on a magical journey.

 

10.

Be relevant to each location delivering the best format and depth of experience for each geographical location and size. Break down barriers and connect the social with the commercial. Be a force for good and express creativity simply, ensuring everyone plays a part.

 

 

We hope you are just as excited as we are about the future and importance of design in retail!

 

31st March 2016 / Eleanor Fyfe

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