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What do you think of when you think of retail space? Perhaps it’s the literal space as defined in the traditional sense for the retail context; four walls, a few aisles, shelving, and a check-out desk. Consider for the length of this post retail space not only as a simple room of commercial real estate but also as an experience for guests.

The last ten years have not been kind to the in-person retail industry with increases in e-commerce options and the uptick in goods delivery convenience. Fortunately, all hope is not yet lost and there are many opportunities to improve on customer retention. 

As you approach your retail buildout or remodel, be sure to address the following factors for the sake of your guests.

#1 Emotional Connection

In a video presentation published by CenterforArchitecture.org, designer and architect Komal Kehar analyzes the success of retail company Aesop – particularly in their unique approach to retail design. To frame her presentation, Kehar states, “Retail spaces have evolved… becoming an experiential space for retailers to connect emotionally to the customer and to expand their brand into a 3D experience.”  

Kehar then outlines the ways that Aesop connects emotionally with their guests, emphasizing the importance of retailers developing a more in-depth journey for customers. While this isn’t a completely new approach, attempting an emotional connection with the retail guest is becoming more of a necessity as owners and managers seek helpful strategies for maintaining a loyal customer base.

#2 Local Context

Taking the experience element one step further, it’s important to create a space where guests can feel comfortable. One way to do this: capture local values and contexts in your retail build. This was another influential matter noted by Kehar in her Aesop presentation and is a way to exhibit a passion for community preferences.

How might this look? Every culture, local or abroad, has its unique aesthetic and core values. Exhibiting your attention to them may mean a simple adjustment of visual appeal and an understanding of spatial awareness. Perhaps the local community values open spaces and clean designs. Or maybe they appreciate a warm environment with cozy furniture.

Not only can this approach help guests with comfortability but achieving a sense of domestic familiarity in each design is reflective of a brand that values its local demographics. As Work Design Magazine writes, guests “want to associate with brands and shopping experiences that fit into their lives.”

#3 Sensory Appeal

Nothing evokes a memorable experience quite like sensory appeal. Contrary to the traditional marketing approach, sensory marketing, as stated by Robert Longley of ThoughtCo., “seeks to utilize the consumer’s life experiences and feelings. These life experiences have identifiable sensory, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects.”

Ask yourself, How many senses does your retail experience spark for your guest? For example, let’s talk about sound. More than a simple jingle or playlist, the very acoustics of your space can have serious implications on the guest’s experience. Also consider color and textures as they relate not only to your brand but to the mood of a new or returning customer. What is the typical psychological association with your chosen palette?

Don’t be afraid to incorporate a natural appeal to all aspects of your retail design. Nothing is more intrinsic to the human journey than natural daylight or organic scents and sounds.

Achieve a Retail Design Fit for Your Guests With PureAlchemy

To sum up this post, if your business makes intentional decisions (in design or otherwise) for the improvement of the lives of others, you’re in a good place.

Whether you’re on the market for a new design for your retail buildout or you’re hoping to shake things up with a remodel, PureAlchemy Design can help. Our philosophy is simple. We adhere to six elements of design that work together to deliver the optimal space for office and retail space success.

Ready for a consultation? Call us at the number below or contact us online.