Consumers are investing in sustainable living more than ever before, from the clothes they wear to the way they shop. Fashion retailers are responding by adopting a multi-faceted approach to make not just their clothes, but the stores in which they are sold are more eco-friendly. The growing interest in the environment has led retailers to examine their sustainable practices throughout their operations, and stores are no exception to this scrutiny.
At the same time, consumers continue to look for personalised and meaningful alternatives for online and high street shopping. Bloggers and vloggers are increasingly swaying purchases and becoming 'spoke persons' for brands. As a result, traditional retailers have the opportunity to become the physical platform for these influencers or they need to become influencers themselves and the similarities in influencers don't stop there with Cardi B, or Blac Chyna, who have big Instagram followings supporting the brand Fashion Nova.
New fashion web store concepts are needed and they should be functional and easy to use. These were the first thoughts that customers came up with when asked to describe their shopping experience in an online store. But that is changing. It is not just about having a web store where you make purchases anymore. Accordingly, almost all online fashion retailers are now trying to inspire their customers in their shop with "Shop-the-look" offers, which almost all major fashion stores are now promoting. This is one step in the right direction.
Today, the focus is on a holistic shopping experience; Customer centricity is the key to success, from product search and inspiration to presentation and service. In an analysis of online fashion stores around the world, Campbell Rigg has identified a number of key design. Here is a summary of the ten most important points.
Online shops are becoming more distinctive.
Online shops are becoming more inspirational.
Selections are more personalised.
Online shops are developing their consultation services.
Products are presented better.
Products are customised.
Omnichannel retail gets fine-tuned and optimised.
Fashion stores conquer social media
In 2018 we saw a shift from the experiential to the transformative power of technology in retail. We will see more retailers follow this route and explore their own brand and consumer product offering through transformative experiences and experimenting with how their physical presence can add value to online sales. That will lead to opening store design concepts that are more engaging, where customers will engage with products in a meaningful, fun way.
In 2019 we expect to see a strong tendency which continues the split between convenience and quality of experience.
Creating experiential retail environments where shopping is more than a transaction has been a progressively growing business model over many years, this will continue to grow, as the retail world continues to face challenges due to increasing global spending.
Research into consumer behaviour has found that creating generous experiences for shoppers is a form of currency and results in shareable moments. Thus, brands have increased their retailtainment factor and have incorporated design features in store with the intention to be shareable on social media. Whether through striking internal architecture, utilising current colour trends or lending store footprint to selfie opportunity areas, pop-ups and VR experiences.
The ‘Experience Economy’ may well be something more of a basic requirement in all retail stores of the future.
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