Predicting anything about the future of retail is always risky, but especially now. The nation and the retail industry continue to be profoundly impacted by COVID-19, and shopping patterns and shopper expectations have changed dramatically.
- In a post COVID-19 world, store designers will have to adapt to new consumer priorities, behaviors and expectations.
- Future retail locations will need to leverage technology to power touch-free interactions.
- Human engagement will still be an important factor in the retail experience, however.
Looking ahead, predicting exactly how COVID-19 will impact retail in the short and long run is fraught with uncertainty. However, there are some key areas where the lasting effects of COVID-19 seem reasonably clear, and one of the most significant relates to store design and the evolving in-store experience. Here’s what seven highly regarded design experts had to say about how retail experiences will change.
CEO/ Founder, The Lionesque Group, and Partner/Stakeholder, MG2
“Retailers should use clear signage, but don’t forget about brand voice — layer in soothing and comforting tones and elements with instruction copy. Have a queuing management system in place (for both curbside and in-store transactions), and leverage technology to power touch-free interactions.
“We will see stores adapt to a more technologically advanced consumer base. Stores will need to seamlessly be able to serve numerous customer journeys — one that is more transaction-based, where the store serves as a fulfillment channel, one where the in-store experience is more experience-based, and one that satisfies a unified commerce experience where a customer can easily transition from online and offline experiences.