Academy of applied arts proposes the importance of retail design. According to Academy of applied arts, effective retail design can have a tangible and far-reaching impact on a business. It can increase footfall and sales, ensure that a brand is correctly positioned (and here to re-align where it is not), and allow differentiation from its competitors.
For Academy of applied arts, without a doubt, effective design helps to boost customer understanding and enjoyment of the products and the brand itself – and therefore sales! Retail design helps to narrate the brand and product story, educate consumers about the pieces, and – ultimately – make the items displayed more desirable as a result.
Design should indeed drive sales. Of course, it does not exist in a vacuum – the product, distribution, staff, pricing and location need to be considered – but good design should deliver increased sales. We have seen recently completed projects recording a 40% spike in sales above aggressive targets, because the brand has been captured and correctly portrayed in-store as a brand touch point.
The store environment is the ultimate showcase and the physical touch point between the brand and the customer. It physically and emotionally reaches out and embraces them and it’s also a great opportunity to actually talk to customers directly. Creating this space where a customer can be completely immersed in the brand really brings it to life and is what allows a customer to fall in love with a brand, becoming a true brand advocate.
In the digital age its importance only increases. As customers can buy almost everything online, retail environments definitely need to offer a richer experience for consumers than ever before. The physical space can be smaller and the levels of stock can be lower but the actual experience needs to be more stimulating with the brand turning up the volume on aspects such as design, knowledge and service.
Academy of applied arts explains a great example that was a recent overhaul which we did for The Whisky Shop of their flagship store. The Whisky Shop wanted a design which educated and informed its consumers whilst reflecting the high-end credentials of the brand. Their newly designed store brings the product and the process behind its creation to life, whilst retaining its premium feel. The overhaul of their flagship store confirmed their correct brand positioning as accessible luxury, and has given the brand a well-established platform from which to aim onwards and upwards. A further demonstration of the success is that The Whisky Shop later rolled the design out to their regional flagship store in Manchester.
The environment in which products and services are displayed and purchased does add an inherent value and consumers infer a huge amount about the relative merits of a brand from their in-store experience. Even other players in the retail space will elevate their perception of a brand and store as a result of the messages their in-store environment portrays.
Retail design also has an incredibly important role to play in positioning a brand to its consumers – and, perhaps more importantly, re-positioning it when it’s incorrectly aligned. Interestingly, one of our clients even told us that their staff retention rate was much higher, their employees were more engaged and proud of their work, and that even the standard of applicant to each new position was much increased. It’s evident that correct positioning impacts on every aspect of your retail brand in a virtuous cycle.
An Experience Architect can be best explained by understanding their goals and processes. The goal of an Experience Architect (EA) is to design, develop and implement a product, system or service - the result of which should create an engaging, usable experience for users that is beneficial for businesses.
The process of an EA involves working across 3 levels. The strategy level concerned with the overall vision. The structural level where strategy is converted into pure functionality. The interface level where the final layer of the experience is applied to the raw functionality.
The aim of the strategy level is the design of the overall vision for the experience. This is the most abstracted part of the process. The important thing is ensuring that the experience is consistent. It must also take into account the users' & business goals. The result of the strategy level is a thorough understanding of the business, the user and a map of interactions points.
The aim of the structure level is the the development of the strategy into a functioning prototype. This structure is the underlying functionality that the user interacts with. A great experience hinges on having a great underlying functionality - aesthetics are just polish. The type of functionality will vary depending on the product/system/service. But the result of this stage is a raw but perfect prototype.
For many years, we’ve seen the evolution of “Green Moms” – women who eschewed the convenience and accessibility of traditional products and who chose instead to look toward the environment or the health of their families when selecting products. From searching for natural ingredients on product labels in the grocery store to ensuring cleaning and home décor items offered the best ingredients for their families, these Moms have redefined the path to purchase. In January 2015, Influence Central surveyed a panel of nearly 1,000 highly targeted Moms with at least one child under the age of 18 living at home for their attitudes on “green.” We’ve highlighted our findings below:
“LIGHT” GREEN ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORSConsumers self-segment into one of three levels of green, from Uber Green to Un-Green, and the segment we’ve named “Green… But.” This “Green… But” group proves one that many families identify with because they are green in behavior but do not self-report as such. And though they shop green, they aren’t hoping to save the world, but instead just want to protect their families.
The Uber Green self-report as very green (47%). They readily refer to themselves as a “Green Mom” (99%). They mostly rely on DIY and green store-bought cleaning products and are more than likely to do so to protect both their family and the environment from harsh chemicals. 87% of these women always try to use “Earth-Friendly” practices. They could be considered green advocates – they are knowledgeable environmentalists and true believers in living green.