Shoppers are flighty creatures, says Daniel Astarita of Kesslers. They’re moving in a fast-paced environment, with demands that shift at a similar speed. So how do you make them notice you?
We live in an evolving world, with changing demands, habits and requirements, and this is reflected clearly in the exciting retail landscape.
In an era dominated by instant gratification, the challenge for brands is how to garner and retain loyalty, currency and be the forerunner for what customers want.
Where consumers used to want the ‘convenience’ of big box retail for grocery – everything you could possibly want under one, out-of-town roof, for one large destination shop a week – now, we don’t necessarily want the option to pick up a TV, new jacket and a lawn mower on the same trip as our bread and milk. We want ‘convenience’ shopping, smaller, curated baskets, several times a week; buying locally and in independent stores has greater kudos than ever.
So where is the compromise? How can retailers tap into what customers want now, tomorrow and in the future? Personalisation is huge; the shops that can connect on an individual level are going to succeed. For example, blending the knowledge of a visitor’s online visits and buying habits could prove invaluable; knowing that the shopper in front of you is keen on light, floral fragrances, or always buys the latest trainers, allows staff or interactive screens to provide advice, suggestions or offers that are appropriate, with the added benefit of sales experts on hand to support, educate and up-sell.
Some items are never going to be bought via a simple online transaction, so physical stores have a huge part to play in the retail experience. Few people would commit to the purchase of a pushchair that they haven’t tested, even if just to see how heavy it is. Many consumers would rather check the colour suitability of foundation or lipstick in person rather than on a device. Drawing these browsers into the store is less challenging; creating a compelling retail experience that converts a browsing decision into a buying decision can be the tricky part. That’s where a leading retail design company comes into play.
A great retail designer understands the ambition of the brand, the shopper and their aspirations. Our in-house creative team at Kesslers sketches, visualises and humanises the experience, getting to the heart of how the display will be shopped and can convert passers-by into educated, empowered and engaged brand fans. Combining brand values with the nature and purpose of the unit and the expert knowledge of how retail evolves daily allows for truly engaging POS solutions to be created.
We are seeing an increase in retailers testing the boundaries of how technology can work effectively in store for them and their customers – the experiential is important to Generation Z and they absolutely see a place for bricks and mortar stores, but only those who really engage will be most successful with the latest generation of consumers coming into the marketplace with their disposable incomes.
The greatest successes that we are seeing are with those who understand the value of appropriate technology to the shopper – stores that allow customers to impose furniture into their living spaces to check that the footstool really does complement the sofa, or those that allow you to scan over an article of clothing in store and immediately ‘get the look’ with the best accessory, lipstick and shoes for that jumper dress.
We also see benefit in curated content – stands for skincare and cosmetics with interactive content that changes based on the shopper in front of the stand. This allows for sensitive, targeted marketing, perhaps encouraging skincare and facial sales for one audience and the latest colour trend for another. Customers want to feel educated and that they are selecting the absolute right choice for them. After all, many acquisitions in store are aspirational purchases and are key to customers looking and feeling good. If retailers get these right, these customers become a loyal following of brand fans who interact online, sharing and attracting others.
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