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Carly Wickham, Head of Marketing

From ‘being generous’ to ‘flexing brandscapes’, we’ve assimilated what we believe will be key opportunities for our clients in the upcoming year.

1. Flex elastic brandscapes

Retail space is constantly in flux and constantly in beta. Increasingly expectant customers are reforming what they demand from their physical shopping experience. In response agile retailers need to be on their toes, incorporating lab style R&D programs, offering customisation and enabling personalised shopping experiences.

2. Embrace both fast and slow

From the speedy ease of ‘click-and-collect’, to the ‘dwell-to-sell’ tactics of comfy seating areas or digital engagements, the store space needs to be able to accommodate for all customer journeys.

3. Be generous and hospitable

Strategise ways in which the store environment and employees can create strong emotional bonds with customers through over-delivery. Variations on this theme are plentiful, from cafés in store, to events and ‘edutainment’ programs designed around the brand.

4. Plan for ‘permanently temporary’

Our ‘permanently temporary’ blog was one of our most popular blogs of 2016. And it’s a theme likely to stay front of mind in 2017. Examples include sharing other brands retail spaces (echoing the wider sharing economy) including facilitating ‘Pop-Ins’ and curating rolling content using digital enablers.

5. Broadcast from retail

Brand environments are now curated media hubs in their own right. Visually rich, Instagrammable backdrops and props are a must have in retail. Individual stores owning their own social media handles and event diaries is commonplace. Also, integrating digital instore is providing another channel with which to broadcast the rich, online content-stream.

6. Embrace ‘renegade retail’

Our recent ‘renegade retail’ blog explores this theme in more detail. With cynicism and disloyalty the mindset of many potential customers, the ability to connect with those sceptical of big brands by creating targeted narratives, possibly even courting controversy, is a direction that could yield rich returns.

7. Analyse analyse analyse

In the new world order, data-driven decision making is king. Retail environments must generate a quantity of data comparable to their e-tail siblings in order to remain competitive. It’s a frequent consideration in our retail designs. Want to find out more, check out our three part blog about data analytics at retail.

What to do next? Review how your customers interact with your brand and visualise where new touchpoints that resonate with 2017’s trends could add to your shopper experience.