Retail Outlets Designed to Sell After the Pandemic
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that designing a retail outlet is akin to playing a psychological game with customers and potential customers of your store.
The purpose of putting aside a budget for store interior design is to ensure that it is not just appealing to your current customers, but also provide for a comfortable shopping experience for them when they're browsing through.
For instance, if you own a retail outlet selling audio equipment, you would want to appeal to customers who can afford to pay for high-end audio systems in their homes, offices, or cars.
Things get even more interesting if your target market belongs to a younger demographic. It would then boil down to ads, colors, product placements, and trendiness matters.
Stores with a young customer base may need to consider using brighter colors, hiring ambassadors, or use social media to gain the attention of their customers.
In an era where many businesses, especially retailers, are suffering from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, how do we get back into the game when things are set to return to ‘new normal’?
Making the Right Unique Impression
Retailers need to create a store ambiance that is unique to their brand and products.
A well-planned store interior design will send customers and window-shoppers a psychological message that they will remember for a long time to come.
As the store owner, one needs to remember that if a customer does not buy from you now, you want them to remember how it felt like to be in your store.
If you study the behavior of shoppers or consumer habits, you’ll see that shopping is considered a form of escapism for some. Whenever a person feels bad or had a bad day, they may drive out to the mall and shop for things that make them happy.
They did not call it retail therapy for nothing.
While purchasing products help improve the buyers’ moods, so will the experience itself. Although the effect of retail therapy can be seen in a negative light and is short-lived, it is hard to deny the fact that comfort buying alleviates stress and anxiety.
So, you want to make your customers feel happy, excited, and enthusiastic the moment they step into your store and here are some simple tips that won't cost an arm and a leg.
Reinvent your Retail Store’s Design - Go Vertically
We’ve always advised our clients to put some thought into thinking about designing vertically instead of horizontally.
We know everyone’s trying to make the most of what lies within the line of sight of their customers when designing their retail store but the only way to cut the budget and make full use of a small space is to think vertically.
Take a good long look at the space you have from floor to ceiling.
- What can you do with the space?
- What kind of concept would you go for?
- How much money are you willing to pour into decorating it and giving it a brand new personality?
- Are you going to have someone paint a unique mural on it?
- Would you like to install a few shelving systems on one panel of the wall to display interesting antiques and creative decor items?
Even if you’re using customized display shelving units like Decowall, there’s still room to play around with the look of the retail store.
If you have windows, using colorful drapes is one good idea. Or you can use wall-mounted shelving units that lets you customize its look any time you want!
Even before your customers step foot into your retail store, the first impression has already been made.
- They’ve sized you up
- They’ve weighed the pros and cons of walking through your door
- They’ve peeked at your product displays
- They've wondered if it was worth their time walking in
These are split-second feelings, emotions, and decisions. That’s how important your entrance is.
Retail outlets must pay special attention to their entrance, whether they’re located in a mall, a small cluster of shops in a business district, or a standalone building.
Here are a couple of high-tech displays used by retail outlets as outlined by Entrepreneur.com.
This is, we would have to say, for the tech-savvy crowd. You can invest in modern technology to catch the eye and attention of walk-by potential customers like a Holographic Greeter.
It's a high-end investment that is as captivating as it is zany.
It takes the place of real customer service representatives who are often stationed outside a shop handing out booklets or flyers.
Interactive Mirrors or displays
Fashion outlets, for example, can use interactive mirrors or displays to help customers decide how an outfit would look on them before they step into your store.
The electronic mirror/display may even recommend accessories that are available in the shop that goes well with that little black dress.
These interactive mirrors and displays have been used in clothing stores, sporting outlets, entertainment venues, and beauty salons all over the world so far and reports suggest that it has a short-term positive effect for new, genuine customers who are tech-savvy.
Touchscreens and demo videos
This is pretty old-school compared to the aforementioned methods of attracting customers at a retail outlet.
Customers are often attracted by something new, eye-catching, or different.
A touchpoint screen or demo video gives customers an overview of what's in store for them in the retail outlet before they step into your store. There's already one advantage right there.
The downside to using modern technology at the entrance of your retail outlet is that customers might be excited to see it the first time around, it rarely works the second or third time. In fact, it might find it:
- A waste of money
- A distraction
Invest in the Human Touch
It is hard to deny the fact that in retail, the human touch is one of the most important factors that drive transactions in real life.
Even though eCommerce has pretty much taken over a large part of the business world in recent years, consumers continue to prefer real-time shopping to online shopping because of:
- The many disadvantages of buying from an unknown online business vendor
- Being swamped by too many options
- Confusing and inaccurate descriptions
- Inability to verify or test out products before completing the purchase
- Complicated refund and return policies
- Dishonest sellers online
- Prolonged delivery period
- Cost of shipping
Once this Coronavirus pandemic under control, predictions are that people will start scrambling for real in-real-life purchases instead of online ones because they’ve been inundated with the sheer number of push marketing via emails, SMS, digital messaging platforms, social media, ads, and apps during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Although consumers will be tightening their wallets, brands can continue to tell their stories and stay connected with their customers on social media, maintaining consistent contact.
Don’t Just Sell, Do Good
With everyone in lockdown for an undetermined period, retail is obviously suffering.
But if you think of it positively, it’s also a good time to go beyond merely selling. Your stores are closed and your customer base and fans of your products probably can’t wait to get back to your retail outlet to see how everything’s holding up and stock up on their favorite products!
Use this time to connect and assure your customers that you’re still here with them.
A large number of major International brand names and retailers like Nordstrom, Ralph Lauden, GAP, IKEA, Nike and many others are using this time to help their customers find personal protection equipment, supporting health workers with food and financial aid, and providing them with hand sanitizers and masks.
Small businesses may not have as deep a pocket but any help is big help in times of trouble.
It was reported that a small restaurant in Portland was donating food to frontline workers and shelter volunteers. Laundromats were lending a helping hand by cleaning clothes and equipment for free or a minimal fee. Workers with extra time on their hands were deployed to volunteer whenever they can, be it to clean up the streets or hand out food to the homeless.
Apart from it being a corporate responsibility and subtle branding exercise, still, it shows the company's customers that despite how strapped these companies are themselves, they’re proactive in reaching out in any way they can.
It sends a positive and yet extremely important message - you’re more than a retailer and business out to make a profit.
This is a time when humanity shines.
We are with you in this time of uncertainty and need. As we brace ourselves for the new future we are about to face, let’s try to help each other by reaching out and lending a helping hand.
Reinvent, refocus, redesign, rethink, and then launch!
To find out more about reliable, professional, affordable, and top quality store display units, we invite you to visit www.formedge.com.my, www.decowall.com.my, or hit us up on our social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Linkedin. We love connecting with people who share ideas with us as much as we do them!