Due to the pandemic and new technology, online shopping has become a more popular trend. In 2016, 209.6 million people were online shoppers. To compete, retail stores need to have a more enticing layout.
However, having an online presence and a physical store go hand in hand. In fact, when a new store opens, its overall web traffic increases an average of 37%. So, here are a few design trends to pay attention to in 2022.
1. Telling a Story Through the Brand
Shopping has become a more personal experience – it’s not just about purchasing items. To keep customers engaged, companies need to showcase their brand’s values. They need to tell people the story behind the brand.
Retailers can tell this story through all platforms, such as social media and blog posts. However, since people have a short attention span, keep the videos under two minutes.
Then companies should add these design elements into the physical store. If the brand is eco-friendly, have a section dedicated to second-hand clothing.
2. Creating a Safer Experience
With COVID-19, some stores limit trying on certain items. Although, this is part of the appeal of going to a store. Companies can put safety measures in place to encourage an enjoyable customer experience. For example, disinfect items after people try them on. Other strategies include one-way aisles, plexiglass barriers, and social distancing signs.
Technology can also help create a feeling of comfort. Cameras and sensors help regulate social distancing and identify those wearing a mask. Contactless payment is another popular option.
3. Integrating More Technology
Technology can also help provide a convenient experience. QR codes are an easy and contactless way to shop. They are also a fun way to create contests or receive feedback. You can build QR codes for free using tools available online. Robots are also another piece of technology gaining attention. They can do a variety of tasks, from cleaning to shelf analytics.
Some stores, like H&M, are even using smart technology. For example, they have a mirror that takes selfies through voice commands. Since customers use technology daily, it’s an important part of the retail experience.
4. Displaying Less Merchandise
Having a minimalist design creates a sense of sophistication. Many luxury stores feature stand-alone displays. This technique is also useful to showcase a particular product line.
Along with the minimalist theme, some stores are reopening in smaller locations. It encourages them to only stock the shelves with items catered to their target audience. Plus, it allows retailers more flexibility to change design plans in the future.
5. Having a Homey Atmosphere
A store that feels like home attracts more customers and keeps them shopping longer. One element to consider adding is hardwood floors. These are popular in many homes and provide a sense of warmth.
Also, incorporate plenty of natural lighting, paint with warm tones, and decorate with plants. Another good feature to add is a coffee bar to give consumers a quick burst of energy.
6. Designing With Social Media in Mind
Social media has taken over, with over 72% of people using some type of social media. With this growing trend, design spots in the store that are ideal for Instagram selfies. These can include eye-catching wall installations, unique flooring, or signs with catchy phrases. This gives customers an engaging experience and promotes the company’s brand.
7. Taking Advantage of Pop-up Shops
These are popular among millennials and make it easy to spread brand awareness. They allow consumers to connect with the brand on a more personal level. In addition, people can browse items in a safer and more open environment.
These can also be a good way to temporarily open a store in a new neighborhood. That way, the company can see how well their products appeal to that community.
8. Keeping Curbside and Buy Online Pick Up in Store Options
These options were popular during the pandemic to keep people safe. Yet, they are still more convenient options for people today. For those cautious about the new COVID-19 variants, these can encourage them to safely visit the store. It’s also more convenient for those with a busy schedule, like working parents.
This is an opportunity for retailers to improve the customer experience and drive sales. You can consider using Magento 2 Store Pickup for your E-Commerce website.
9. Turning Stores Into Fulfillment Centers
The e-commerce industry is constantly growing. One of the most popular retailers, Amazon, boasts nearly 40% of all U.S. e-commerce sales. Some stores have even turned sections into fulfillment centers for online orders to keep up with the growing demand.
10. Strategic Floor Designs
A floor plan is about more than just aesthetic appeal. Retailers can use the layout to guide shoppers through the store. For example, have the items you want them to notice at the front of the store. Consider marking this area with a unique flooring material or style.
How to Make a Retail Store Stand Out
As consumer priorities shift, companies need to adapt. Many consumers are looking for a safer and more convenient shopping experience. Retailers can provide this with safety measures, more technology, and a visually appealing layout.
Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated. Her work focuses on interior and architectural design and has been published by Build Magazine, the National Association of REALTORS and other online publications.