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How Design Influences Our Retail Experience
| 15 Nov

Our retail experiences are constantly changing as technology advances and new trends emerge. As we approach one of the busiest and most profitable periods for retailers, we look at how design is influencing our shopping experience. Here are 4 ways design is changing the way we shop:

1) Interactive Design

Retailers are increasingly faced with the challenge of digitising the consumer experience to keep up-to-date with the latest tech. One of the main strategies brands have been using to engage with consumers is through the use of interactive shop front store displays.

Last year, department store House of Fraser (HoF) implemented an interactive window display for Black Friday in conjunction with Layar, a company specialising in augmented reality. The display allowed shoppers to browse HoF’s online catalogue by scanning the display using an app. Customers also had the opportunity to enter a £250 competition providing an attractive incentive and encouraging further engagement.

2) Personalisation

A fast, fun and appealing shopping experience is now expected by most consumers, most notably technology savvy millennials. Offering more to the consumer through personalisation and curation will help to build a much more meaningful relationship between brands and their customers.

Mobile app, Polyvore, gives users the ability to create custom outfits using clothes from the world’s top brands and retailers. The app provides the latest trends and insights regarding the fashion industry and is extremely popular amongst young women.

3) Convenience

Today’s shopping experience has become more personal both in-store and online with retailers looking to bring further convenience to consumers. Designing from the customer’s perspective with a focus on convenience makes for a far more enjoyable shopping experience and can result in strengthened brand loyalty.

KFC’s Colonel Club app allows users to rack up stamps when making a purchase and rewards customers with free food depending on how many they have collected. The app also provides the full menu and allows users to pick and choose items to add to their ordering list. Following this, emails are also sent to users to remind them of their unused rewards should they be disconnected from their mobile.

4) Retail Theatres

Building trust and confidence with consumers has always been a challenge within retail environments. Customers seek knowledge and experience concerning products and services. Implementing ‘retail theatres’ is an effective strategy to successfully deliver this.

Brands including Lush and The Entertainer regularly operate as ‘retail theatres’ providing engaging and exciting customer experiences through live demonstrations. Staff are trained to act as educators or performers, showing the product or service in action to create transparency between the consumer and the brand.

What are your thoughts on today’s retail experience? Tweet us @OBcreativeUK

By Dawood Pathan

For advice on your retail interior design and branding, contact Offbeat Creative at or call 020 7060 3121