Having just said ‘goodbye’ to 2019, what were some of the biggest bespoke shopfitting ideas affecting stores and their sales over that period? And, when carried through into 2020, how are these set to affect your business today? Will they, for instance, make you consider introducing some new in-store concepts? And, while you’re at it, prompt a bespoke shopfitting re-design?
When you sit down to consider your own experiences in the retail sector, it’s not too difficult to guess what some of those major store changes were in 2019. Certainly, they weren’t all physical – or they were physical and IT combined.
What are we talking about here? No prizes for guessing it is Augmented Reality (AR) and the Internet of Things (IoT). The changes as far as last year was concerned is that they are becoming far more sophisticated as time goes on. Connectivity instore with customers’ mobile devices can direct the latter to particular areas of the store. This is great if they happen to be in a hurry to buy food and drink, during their lunchtime for instance.
But, more valuably for the retailer, they can also provide plenty of information about the customer. This means the store can customise their products or services in an even more targeted fashion next time. In other words, they can find out what the customer’s hobbies are, whether she likes to travel etc and flash up adverts for products and services next time she or he is instore.
Here at Steampunk shopfitting we can’t fail to notice how the sector is coping with such changes. And it’s why we always discuss them with clients before sitting down to go over their redesign project. So, what are a handful of the major developments in bespoke shopfitting which have been carried over into 20202? Well, here are some of our personal favourites right here:
Virtual and Augmented reality
Encouraging the customer to engage with technology similarly encourages them to engage with your product or service. At least, that’s what many shop owners have discovered after introducing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) into their bespoke shopfitting stores.
Fashion outlets and unique clothes boutiques can show a shopper what she or he will look like wearing different outfits. And all without going anywhere near a changing room. That’s because they can ‘virtually arrange’ those outfits onto a customised model of the customers’ body onscreen. Not only does it save the customer from trying on a range of different outfits, but she’ll probably be offered tea or coffee while browsing. Staff will also be interacting with her by giving her advice on shape, colour, trends etc.
In other words, she is having ‘an experience’ with that shop. If it’s an enjoyable one she will no doubt return and purchase more items (rather than sit and browse online herself at home). A recent survey backs up these facts. Research carried out by business consulting firm Infosys showed that a quarter of those who responded said they would be willing to pay 25 per cent more for goods or a service if they had an enjoyed experience at the time.
Architects and house developers have been using VR for quite a while now in order to show customers and clients what their finished residence would look like. This is achieved via a ‘virtual’ tour of the ‘virtual’ finished property. Car sellers have similarly used it to allow potential customers to ‘test drive’ their car in the showroom.
Introducing the Internet of Things (IoT)
Connecting shoppers’ mobiles with in-store devices can provide the customer with better information about products they like. It can also notify store staff when the customer has been in a particular location for some time without assistance. This is achieved by the customer’s mobile being picked up by sensor devices located around the store. Because this creates a better experience for the customer ie they don’t have to hang around too long until an assistant helps them, they are more likely to return to the store. Crucially, they are also more likely to purchase too – especially if they are given discounts for ongoing customer loyalty etc. This, in turn, makes the customer feel valued, and so that loyalty they feel towards the store is reinforced.
When it comes to bespoke shopfitting it’s not just pop-up stores on the high street that have interested customers this year. No, there are also pop-up pockets within stores. This is trend started by sports merchandising giants Nike who have inhouse pop-ups within stores, showing off the best-selling items for that particular store’s town or city. Other examples, could be a pop-up offering ‘all-brand’ makeup tutorials within a high store beauty department. In this way it is about ‘trying before buying.’
QR Codes just as relevant today
A 2019 report The Digital Tipping Point, by consultants Womble, Bond and Dickinson pointed out that retailers were investing more than ever before in IT; to the extent 55 per cent of UK senior retail staff said instore technology was their focus for that year and beyond. QR Codes were still proving a popular way to enhance a customer’s experience. That’s because when the code is scanned it gives customers not just more information on the product or service, but also reviews from real customers who have bought or used it themselves.
A Square Terminal allows payments to be taken from anywhere that there’s an internet connection
Mobile Point of Sale (POS) systems speeds up payments
As the name suggests a mobile POS system involves staff going on to the shop floor and taking payments from customers in this fashion – rather than having them queue up. Many shoppers seem always to be in a rush these days – especially when lunch breaks etc are limited – so this system makes perfect sense. It also does away with the need for several cash desks on the one floor. In terms of bespoke shopfitting it certainly alters the design of the shop floor. It also provides a nice personal touch for the customer. Meanwhile, having the shop staff beside them while paying means there’s no problem when it comes to the technology as he or she can be guided through using it.
Get in touch with us!
At Steampunk Fit Out our team has been studying digital trends in retail for many years now. As such our floor and instore designs have altered accordingly. It’s not enough just to simply introduce technology into your store; the layout and design of the room has to reflect its use so that both the store owner and customer can get maximum benefit.
According to The Tipping Point report, around 50 per cent of sales will be online by 2029. This means there is even more necessity than ever for physical stores to provide a fantastic customer experience. Make sure your store is one of them by contacting us here today at SteamPunk Fitout where we will be happy to discuss your bespoke shopfitting project. We cover the whole of the UK and Ireland, including locations such as Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.
Tel: 0800 197 2922 or drop by our studios at Unit 9-10, Welton Business Park. Welton Road in Blairgowrie. See our previous projects at www.Steampunkfitout.co.uk