Did you know that we only absorb 40% of the information we are told? However, scientist’s have recently discovered something very interesting – that we remember 80% of an engaging experience.

Did you know that we only absorb 40% of the information we are told? However, scientist’s have recently discovered something very interesting – that we remember 80% of an engaging experience.

We’re seeing a need to change the way we design retail spaces. Here are 4 ways of humanising retail design:

Empower your customer

Customers are looking at stores that empower them, which make them feel like a better person when they leave the store.

Take the Nike Fuel Box for example. Nike’s FuelBand was released in 2012 and took the world by storm. As part of their marketing campaign, they teamed up with Huge to create the Nike Fuel Box vending machine which offered FuelBand wearers the opportunity to earn Nike merchandise through their activities.

Nike’s campaign encouraged customers to:

1. Buy the product
2. Be more active
3. Use social media to engage with the brand

As well as a fun incentive to drive people to rack up the ‘Fuel’ on their bands, it shows Nike is still very heavily invested in empowering their communities.

Be Transparent

Millennials have started forming personal ‘relationships’ with brands, whether it’s engaging with a brand’s social accounts or attending branded pop-up events. However, we’ve seen a wealth of new brands reach international success because of their ethics.

Holler & Dash is an American ‘biscuit’ restaurant with a strong farm-to-table focus. They’re packed full of unusual flavour combinations, with all ingredients gathered from their local farm. When ordering, Holler & Dash are keen to inform their customers of the provenance of the products used and this has been very well received by their younger diners.

“I like interesting flavours that you normally wouldn’t put together, so that’s kind of what we did with the craft soda program,” Brandon Frohne (Head Chef) said. “One of my biggest philosophies is the seasonality of ingredients, so we are going to change our craft sodas with each season to match up with what’s abundant, what’s fresh. People are going to be surprised with the flavours.”

Be Circular

Westfield recently launched a report on ‘How We Shop Now: What’s Next?’ which unveils the five key trends that will shape tomorrow’s retail industry.

Consumers are already accustomed to the ‘sharing economy’, tapping into Uber for transport, and Airbnb for accommodation. Westfield has discovered that one in five people in the UK is interested in renting from their favourite store; a figure that is rising to one in three within London. Fashion brands such as Vigga, Denmark and Pimkie are already leading the ‘generation rent’ movement, and it looks to be crossing over into the food industry also.

Instock, Amsterdam are a game-changing restaurant who pick up unsold produce from supermarket chain Albert Heijn and other local producers. Their creative team of chefs create inspiring dishes from rescued foods. They also accept food donations from households, enthusing their ‘sharing is caring’ ethos.

Be a hybrid

We know the saying ‘do one thing but do it well’ is still prevalent in today’s marketplace, but we’re seeing an increase in hybrid brands.

Jane’s Motorcycles is a Brooklyn-based community retail space, mixing coffee, motorbikes and apparel under one roof. In turn, they have created a community not only for bike enthusiasts but their neighbourhood too.

Another example is footwear designers, Toms, who opened their first coffee roasters in 2014. Toms have found a new, meaningful purpose, supplying water to third world countries one coffee at a time. This blurs the lines between being a hybrid brand and empowering your customer’s.

Be tactile

Here at CADA, we know all too well that retail design can make or break a store. Through years of experience, we have found that considering unique ways to visually merchandise your products will aid purchases.

There is excitement when rifling through thrift stores and flea markets, ready to discover the unexpected. Brands like Etsy and SuperValu are tapping into this and creating unique experiences to engage with their audience.

SuperValu is an Irish supermarket chain with a difference. They wanted to transform the shopping experience in a flagship food destination in Blackrock, to appeal to its growing tripartite customer base: Premium professionals, health & well-being and quality families.

With its handcrafted, artisanal design notes, the new-concept store has a new identity that emphasises richness, quality and freshness, with storytelling and expertise at its heart. Hero shots of staff members are pinned above each key section for a local, personal feel, and to show a renewed focus on expert service.

Speciality food stations such as a while-you-wait juice bar, open-plan butcher’s block and a bakery area, were designed to encourage customers to ask questions and seek advice, whilst watch staff plying their trade up close.

They’ve created an all-encompassing brand experience, whilst highlighting their strengths and praising their staff. It’s a beautiful way to make company and customer feel united.

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