The ‘death of the high street’ may be exaggerated, but there’s no denying that many well-known high street retailers have shut up shop in recent years, being replaced by independent retailers offering something you can’t find online. With declining sales on the high street, retailers need to work harder than ever before to entice consumers into their store and make sales.
Embracing modern design techniques and new technology can help – so why is 2020 the year you should get on board?
The pull of online shopping
Shopping online in the warmth and comfort of your own home is all well and good – but there’s one thing retailers can offer that consumers can’t get online: customer experience. If you want to thrive in retail, you need to offer something more than your competitors. To date, physical retail accounts for 93% of all sales, but with this figure predicted to drop to 80% by 2025, it’s clear we need to do more to entice customers.
An unforgettable customer experience
So how can you offer your consumers something they can’t get online? Here are a few ideas:
- Use augmented retail solutions that customers can interact with
- Provide ‘retailtainment’ like a café, bar, restaurant or gallery within your store
- Wow them the minute they arrive outside the store with eye-catching, imaginative window displays and graphics
- Choose the right music to convey your brand’s vibe
- Install eye-catching graphics and HD graphic displays to capture the attention of consumers
- Hire dynamic staff to interact with customers
- Host in-store events and promotions
- Add services to your in-store offering, like a hair salon or nail bar
Each of these ideas creates a pleasant environment and positive consumer experience – and research shows the more positive the experience, the more dwell time, which increases the chances of consumers parting with their hard-earned cash. A report by Retail Economics revealed that 43% of people said they were more likely to make a purchase if a meaningful in-store experience was offered.
Augmented reality: the future of the high street
Some retailers are already implementing these ideas, with touch-screen mirrors installed in changing rooms, allowing consumers to request different sizes or alternative products, or even pay directly from the changing room. Connected clothing racks mean millennials can search their wish lists and purchase history before making a purchase. But it’s not just the latest technology that can change customer experience.
Eye-catching graphics and bold design choices
Primark is a prime example of a retailer that’s making bold choices when it comes to design in their stores. Across the UK and Europe, their stores feature exciting window displays that tempt consumers inside, where lightboxes, HD graphic displays and visually appealing floor graphics lead them through the store.
Their latest store in Birmingham – also the biggest Primark store in the world – gives consumers a full-on experience, with a hair studio, barbers, nail bar and three food venues, as well as a Disney area and Hogwarts Wizarding World for kids, all sitting alongside rails of clothes and accessories. Other retailers would do well to take note!
Why is design so important?
Consumer experience nowadays is all about giving customers something they can’t get elsewhere: online, for example. Yes, consumers can shop from the comfort of their own homes – but they can’t get their hair or nails done or enjoy lunch with friends. According to experts, when we do go shopping on our high streets nowadays, we spend longer doing it. Perhaps we stop off for lunch, or turn it into a day out by getting our hair done or going to the cinema. By offering additional experiences for customers in your stores, you’re creating a one-stop shop; somewhere they’re likely to spend more time in, increasing the chances they’ll part with their cash.
Design has a huge role to play in this too. You wouldn’t go into a store that didn’t have an enticing window display would you? Big, bold, colourful imagery and lighting is what will entice consumers to come in, look around and return. Once they’re inside, the layout and design of your store is what will keep them browsing, and hopefully encourage them to make a purchase. This is something that independent shops do well – but if you’re a major high street retailer then you may need a little help conveying your brand’s vibe.
Millennials are all about visuals
The latest generations have grown up in a visually-oriented society, with Pinterest and Instagram a huge part of their lives. It’s all about how something looks, which means embracing modern display techniques is so important for retailers to thrive in 2020. Eye-catching window displays using colourful 3D structures and Stik Magnetic Wallpaper (like the ones we created for GAP stores in London, Paris, Rome and Milan) entice consumers to come in and browse.
You’d be surprised how the tiniest details can impact customer experience – and you don’t have to break the budget. Backdrops, HD imagery, lighting and even music can all make the difference between a so-so customer experience and a memorable one!
Make 2020 your best year yet
There’s no denying that the high street is becoming a more competitive place to do business than ever before. So why not make 2020 the year your business thrives? Standing out from the competition by focusing your time and energy on the design and pull of your store is sure to increase sales and entice consumers to spend money.
We can help, with innovative products and services like our Titan and Stik wallcovering solutions, creative ceilings and hardwearing floor graphics – so every inch of your store is visually appealing to consumers.
To find out more about what we offer, why not check out some of our case studies for retailers like All Saints, Gap and Topshop. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to discuss your design ideas for your retail environment – or just get some simple advice.