The recent “death of retail’ hype may not be as accurate as many once believed. Recent reports are showing a 5.8% increase in spending from last year, and the strongest growth since 2011. As numbers from Black Friday and Cyber Monday come in, we find ourselves wondering how this will impact e-commerce sales. This raises questions of its relevance to brick and mortar sales moving forward. Its evident many brick and mortar stores are revamping their image to stay competitive, but what does that mean for the signage industry, and what opportunities lie ahead in 2019?
The science behind retail design is ever changing to better meet the customer’s needs. More and more retailers are now listening to what their customers are saying. Surveys and feedback once were thought of only as a way to analyze consumer behavior, and purchasing patterns. Now, stores rely on this information to customize the retail space in a way that interacts with shoppers.
When it comes to the design of the in-store experience, there is a science of how to place products, and how merchants believe it affects consumers. According to VMSD, the layout of a store is supposed to directly reflect the essence of a brand, and how a company wants customers to feel about their product. For example, a store entering the Chinese market would display their product differently in a Chinese store than in the US.
While stores a have been using this strategy of targeted design for decades, the move towards e-commerce over brick and mortar spending has caused stores to reevaluate, analyzing their designs, branding, and the experience they want to create.
The Store Experience
As e-commerce continues to dominate the market, stores have to remain competitive or may be left behind. Some stores, have incorporated the ease of online shopping by allowing you to order online, and pick-up the same day. This creates an exterior space to bring the items and load them into cars.
Stores need to integrate their in-store and online presence, to capitalize on the needs of their consumer. For example, Target has started remodeling stores to have separate entrances for those who are picking up an online order, allowing these customers to pick up their product with ease, and without having to maneuver around other customers and products.
These stores are taking direct action to remain relevant, by offering services online platforms still cannot quite compete with. Many stores are effectively using retail space to their advantage. Whether having groceries handpicked and delivered to a customer, or a personal shopper curating the perfect outfit, stores are creating a personal experience. Because stores have many physical locations, they offer their customers a personal touch not offered from online retailers. This creates a one of a kind experience for the consumer. This also makes the store a destination, that customers come back to again and again.
How Signage Can Play a Major Role
As the retail space is changing, the sign industry is looking to adapt in response. As many stores develop new layouts and create new experiences for customers, Shopify shares the use of digital signage is being used to create a cohesive multi-channel experience through merging in-store and online retail.
Sign companies are expanding to create high-quality digital signs that allow stores to display advertisements and information with ease. As more and more digital signage technology develops, the benefits to these new signs have grown exponentially.
Digital signs increase foot traffic into stores, due to the ability to catch the eye of potential customers passing by. Along with rotating displays, interactive digital signage provides customers with unique experiences desired in a brick and mortar setting.
Digital signage is a great way for stores to interact with customers and refresh their retail environment. Digital signs can help attract and maintain customers. This provides them with unique interactions and additional information they would not otherwise be able to access. As stores are evaluating new ways to interact with the changing retail environment, digital signage allows stores to remain competitive. This is because it brings the traditional nature of brick and mortar stores further into the digital age.