There are a number of headlines describing the changing landscape of retail, with the likes of augmented reality and even artificial intelligence affecting the way we shop. While there is certainly a future for exciting retail technology, in many ways, the high street remains the same. There are, for example, a number of design elements that have long proven they are useful for both customers and retailers alike.
For those starting out on the high street, it can be incredibly useful to recognise and employ these design elements into a retail space since, as time has shown, they are likely to be appreciated for many years to come.
The transition from high street to shop interior is one that should always be considered. It can be overwhelming to enter a new space and the first thing that customers seek to do is assess their surroundings and navigate the interior space. If customers are not offered an appropriate space within which to pause and scan the shop space, they are far more likely to become confused and cause confusion, pausing in an area that sees high traffic.
As such, well-designed high street shops will always have what is known as a decompression zone. This area, sitting between a shop space and the high street, allows customers to pause when entering the shop and gain their bearings.
Shop spaces are generally dynamic. Stock is often changing and seasonal events, such as sales, require shop furniture and shelving to be adapted too. As such, modular retail assets, such as the iconic slatwall panelling, persist in value.
Displays, for example, should regularly be refreshed in order to maintain appeal to customers, whether displaying products in-store or in a window display. By being equipped with adaptable and modular furniture options, retailers can ensure that their shop space is constantly feeling fresh.
Shopping is, by its very nature, transactional. Customers must exchange money for a product and, as such, require a place to do so. While there are a number of technological developments that are seeking to phase this process out, such as Amazon Go supermarkets, the majority of shops continue to celebrate checkout areas. In fact, some supermarkets that chose to replace their cashiers with self-service counters are now beginning to reverse their decision.
Checkout areas, while increasingly mobile and efficient, remain important, prioritised by retailers and shop equipment hire services alike. Not only do they allow for accurate and personable transactions to take place but also for shop spaces to maintain a direct and human relationship with customers, ensuring that they leave with a positive impression of a brand.
A portal onto the high street, window displays serve as one of the best advertising tools a retailer has. These spaces have the potential to catch a customer’s attention while also describing in great visual detail what can be expected from inside a shop space. Even those unfamiliar with a brand should be able to best guess its products with only a glance of a window.
Additionally, these spaces also help retailers reach those passing by when a shop is closed, continuing to showcase products twenty-four hours a day.