The Right Retail Design for a Positive Shopper Experience

Learn how to use retail design to give your customers exactly what they want

We are in a new era of retail. It’s very likely your customers can buy from you in-person and online. And it’s very likely that you shop online and in brick-and-mortar stores.

Retail in 2023 is not what it was in 2020. Like you, your customers do not shop just online or just in-person. This makes your job challenging. (And exciting.)

How do you offer memorable shopper experiences that convince people to put down their mobile devices and visit your store in real life?

This is the challenge for every single retailer in 2023 – delivering memorable shopping experiences.

What is a Positive Shopper Experience?

A positive shopper experience is personal – personal to your customers and personal to your brand.

While there isn’t one global positive shopper experience, there are themes that can appeal across a broad spectrum of customers and brand personalities.

Recent research tells us that, shoppers want:

  • Enjoyable experience – 35% of consumers shop in brick-and-mortar stores for an enjoyable experience
  • Product interaction – 24% of consumers want to see, touch, and use products before buying
  • Customer service – 60% of customers purchase from retailers based on previous positive customer service experiences
  • Positive shopper experience – 86% of shoppers will pay more for an excellent shopper experience
  • Personalized experience – 49% of customers made impulse purchases after a personalized experience
  • Value alignment – 83% of millennials expect brands to align with their values

(Statistics sources: Commerce Trends 2023, SuperOffice, and 53 Data-Backed Retail Statistics Shaping Retail in 2022 and Beyond)

The 6 Essentials for a Positive Shopping Experience

Does your store deliver on these 6 essentials of a positive shopping experience?

  1. Authenticity
    Do people receive honest answers from your sales team? Is your brand transparent and honest when you’ve made a mistake? How do your in-store employees interact with customers? Are you treating customers how you want to be treated?
  2. Personalization
    How are your customers treated by store employees? Are you using interactive touch screens to make it easy for your sales team to get to know customers and offer them a personalized experience? What type of experience do your offer frequent shoppers? Does in-store appointment booking and shopping make sense for your brand and customers?
  3. Sustainability
    Are you responding to customer expectations for sustainable retail design, packaging, and products? Do you have an in-store recycling program?
  4. Value
    What does your store offer that people cannot get from an online shopping experience? Are you transparent about your returns and refund policy? How do you go above and beyond to meet customer needs?
  5. Community
    How are you giving people more than just a store and a shopping experience? Does your store fit with the neighborhood? Is it easy for customers to relax and unwind in your store? Does it make sense for your store to offer a café, comfy chairs, or a mobile charging station? Is there an opportunity to offer in-store classes, workshops, or other interactive experiences?
  6. Convenience
    Is it easy for customers to walk-in, find what they want, pay, and leave? Can you offer both a high-touch and low-touch shopping experience? How are you balancing technology, speed, and customer service? What is your buy online, pickup-in-store experience like?

It is the experience not the product that brings people back to your store, builds brand loyalty, and creates customer evangelists.

Delivering a Positive Shopper Experience

Who are your customers? How is your store designed to suit your customers? What kind of shopping experience do your customers want?

The shopping experience you deliver is intrinsically linked to your retail design. And your retail design must align with who your customers are.

Start with getting to know your customers. You need to know:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Education
  • Interests
  • Values
  • Habits

This customer demographic and psychographic information determines how you use:

  • Color
  • Lighting
  • Space
  • Store layout
  • Window displays
  • Fixtures

This may all sound obvious. But there are many stores and brands who are not getting these basics right.

Think of that store in your local mall. The one that looked like okay from the outside. But when you walked in, you immediately knew it wasn’t right for you. You turned around after spending less than 15 seconds in the store.

What was it that convinced you this store wasn’t for you? Was the music too loud? Was the color glaring? Did the sales staff look at you but not see you? Were you overwhelmed by signage? Was it too hip, too young, or did it scream old?

The Retail Design Trends Shoppers Want

Yes, you have products that customers want and need. But so do your competitors.

You need to give them the extra cherry-on-top. You need to give them the experience they didn’t know they wanted – but now crave every single time they go shopping.

These retail design trends can be the extra touch that helps you build brand loyalty and delivers a memorable shopping experience.

  • Augmented reality – fun, convenient, personal, and supportive. These are just some of the ways customers describe augmented reality installations in retail stores. From virtual navigation, entertainment, virtual catalogs, through to virtual fitting rooms – AR gives customers a memorable and helpful shopping experience.
  • Mixed-use spaces – a store is more than just a room with shelves and products, it’s a hub, an education center, a meeting spot, a coffee shop, and an escape from reality. Think of the extras that would help people make better use of your products or help them understand why they need your products.

    How can you cultivate community and offer extra value? An in-store rock climbing wall so people can try out rock climbing gear. An art studio that offers classes on watercolor technique. An in-store barista who demonstrates how to properly grind and brew a short pull espresso.
  • Minimal design – we are in a time when people don’t want to feel rushed or cluttered. Your retail design needs to respect and remember that people are actively trying to slow down, do less, and yes, quietly quitting.

    This post-pandemic mood lends itself to minimal design – stocking only products that you know your customers want, wide aisles and open space, retail fixtures that are not jam-packed with inventory, and focusing on your core product line.
  • Experiential – follow the lead of Canada Goose, with their in-store Cold Rooms that give customers a first-hand experience of what it feels like to be exposed to -13F (-25C) plus windchill. There is no better way to sell the value of a winter coat than to feel the cold.

    Look for ways to do the same for your customers. Remember that people visit retail stores for a positive experience and to touch, see, and try products.

    Think of how excited your kids are to visit a LEGO store. LEGO uses custom millwork and fixtures to give little (and big) shoppers a hands-on experience with features like the Personalization Studio, Tree of Life, and Brick Lab.
  • Convenience – from curbside pick-up, contactless checkout through to visual merchandising – it needs to be easy for your customers to buy from you. How you deliver convenience is tied directly to your customer demographic.

    For customers who like to showroom products and then buy online, create an inviting environment that makes it easy for them to try your products, ask questions, and leave informed and ready to buy.

    No one likes to ask for a larger pair of pants. Most customers will simply leave. Make it stress-free and simple for customers to get different sizes and styles of clothing delivered to their fitting rooms with touchscreen displays or with personal shopping appointments.
  • Store-in-store – not everyone is excited about shopping, they want to get in, get what they want, and leave. Store-in-store installations or pop-ups are a great way to add extra value and benefit to these customers.

    From partnering with complimentary brands to informational kiosks that give customers the extra information they need to make full use of your products – a pop-up can be anything you want. Think of how you can make your store the only store people need to visit.

What is it about your retail store that convinces people to get in their car, drive to your store, search for parking, deal with crowds, stand in line, and then drive home?

At Dynamic, our unique combination of IN-HOUSE offerings makes us your single source provider for all of your retail design and installation needs. Trust us to be your partner in delivering a positive shopper experience, every single time.

Contact us to learn how we handle every aspect of your business – from an individual installation to a global roll-out.