When discussing retail, very few people consider trends that may be gaining steam. While fads come and go, in retail, fads tend to stay for years on end, and jumping on a trend early can make your shop look cutting edge for years to come. We understand the investment that comes with getting behind a trend which is why we’ve narrowed down the top retail trends you should follow for 2022.
One of the main things people are looking for when shopping in a store is the brand message, and storytelling has become a popular method to ensure branding all stays the same. However, unless you’re an established brand like Gucci or Yves St. Laurent, it can be difficult to convey your message in a few sentences for ever-decreasing attention spans.
Instead, look to have your products, social media posts, videos and blog posts tell your story. What do you want people to think about when they enter your store? How do you want customers to feel? Using these questions as a guide, take the time to create a brand story that resonates with people.
Interactive Shopping Experience
A decade or so ago, retailers didn’t really need to care about the experience customers had inside their store. Most simply got their products and left. However, times have changed and it’s now important to look at what customers can do inside your store as well.
From having activities to allowing people to test products, making your store an interactive shopping experience will transform it into a destination people want to go to. While shopping online may be cheaper and not require leaving the house, going to your interactive store will be an experience people are willing to pay for.
Tying in closely with interactive experiences is technology. As technology has improved, customers are better able to understand the brand’s messaging as well as have interactive experiences they couldn’t find anywhere else.
Brands are now utilizing tech advances online as well, allowing people to try on clothes and makeup or see how a piece of furniture will look in their space with their phone. This is allowing consumers to make smarter purchases without ever setting foot in a store.
More and more people are choosing to shop online for most of their products; however, brick-and-mortar locations still dominate the market. To compete with online retailers, stores are needing to find ways to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. Solutions include curbside pickup or picking the item up in-store after paying online.
However, stores are also looking at creating mini versions of themselves as well, offering consumers the ability to purchase brand staples from a pop-up shop or small location in a metro area.
Sophisticated & Minimalistic Merchandising
Retail locations have commonly featured a lot of products put into a small area, creating a lot of opportunities for looking at products. However, many store owners go a little overboard, creating stores that are simply too complicated or overstimulating for people to enjoy. Enter the minimalistic store.
Featuring a select number of products and more comfortable layouts, minimalistic stores are made with the intention of selling higher quality products. With lone displays or minimalist racks, these stores give off the idea that everything within its walls is high value.
Another method to focus on the customer experience is home-like designs. These designs are comfortable and inviting, creating a homey feeling that makes customers feel at ease, leading to more time spent in a shop.
From using traditional flooring to ensuring lots of seating, these home-like stores are becoming quite popular. To really up the ante, consider partnering with a local candy or coffee maker who will serve light beverages and snacks in the store.
Social media has never been more popular than it is now, and it is integral that retail store owners start getting their social media accounts up and running. However, while social media used to be regulated to updates and new stock, many retailers are finding they need to partner with influencers and host giveaways to push themselves above their competition.
Another key point to social media is customer interaction. Customers are now looking to personally connect with brands, and retailers need to make sure they respond to messages and comments to ensure customers feel like their comments and concerns are taken seriously.
Pop-up shops really gained steam in 2019, and some forecasted they wouldn’t come back after COVID-19. However, popups are back in full-force, offering retailers the ability to connect with customers and sell their products in temporary locations.
The best part about these smaller stores? Retail store owners can easily change their layouts or study their customer flow to figure out the way they want to design a permanent brick-and-mortar location or their next pop-up.
Fluorescent lighting is quickly giving way to natural lighting, allowing people to see the great outdoors and plenty of sunshine even though they’re inside. This is especially popular in the health and beauty sector as people discover the importance of using natural light to examine makeup shades and clothing.
However, not every store can redesign its layout to include natural light. Luckily, manufacturers are now producing LED bulbs that produce a natural lighting effect that delivers nearly the same results.
Wayfinding Floor Designs
When the pandemic started, many people were aghast at the idea that signs would dictate how they moved around a store; however, more and more retailers are finding that wayfinding flooring is a lifesaver as they look to get more customers in their shops looking at all products.
Wayfinding flooring works by taking customers through the store as intended, usually using flooring that’s laid in a specific pattern to subconsciously guide the customer.
We believe that retailers should evolve at the same or faster pace to remain on top of the consumer market and meet the expectations of an ever-changing clientele. Ollen Group is one of the leading retail management consultant firms in the Middle East & Africa region (MEA) offering retail design services with turnkey solutions from strategy to execution. Our retail business consultant will help your through your journey.
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