Retail theatre - the creative and strategic art of crafting a positive customer experience - is more important than ever. Millennials and social influencers are like design bloodhounds, forever sniffing out ‘Insta-worthy’ details that fit their grid. If you didn’t post a picture, did you even go there?
Retailers are quickly cottoning on. Bricks and mortar spaces need deeper planning, tying in customer trends, brand stories and of course, those all-important aesthetics. From quirky bespoke display cabinets to achingly hip details, here’s how to sell more products with design-led engagement in the 21st century.
1. Take what your customers already know - and play with it
Savvy brands get to the core of what their customers already know, love and relate to, then give it a fresh twist. This applies to your retail space. For example, you could unlock nostalgia and child-like imagination with a mini wooden house display shelf. We’re used to the image of our childhood doll’s house, filled with tiny kitchen sinks, teacups smaller than your fingertips and a miniature dog asleep by the fire. Filling it with unexpected items - whether that’s cupcakes, jewellery, potted plants or whatever products you specialise in - adds the element of surprise. Customers love that.
2. Beauty is in the detail
Try not to overwhelm your customers by throwing products in their faces. Cluttered, jam-packed displays aren’t photogenic - artfully arranged displays are. Of course, we don’t all have the luxury of space to work with, but this is where it’s crucial to focus on the details. Get creative with bespoke display cabinets and arrange items in terms of hierarchy, giving bestsellers more status than supportive stock.
3. Use Instagram trends as a spring board
Let’s use millennial pink as an example for this. Whether the colour craze started with the ‘rose gold’ iPhone in 2015, or earlier with Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, there’s no denying the trend took over the fashion and design world. An effective way to maximise your social presence is to provide photo opportunities that latch onto this trend - the kind you’d see on accounts such as @ihavethisthingwithpink and @accidentallywesanderson. Even if it’s just some small wooden display shelves that fit to a particular trending theme, using your store to inspire customers will make them want to share it on Instagram. Of course, always make sure it’s not forced: it’s obvious to see when a brand is forcing something for marketing benefits.
4. Appeal to the senses
There doesn’t have to be a ‘death of the high street’. Physical premises have the upper hand to digital-only brands in that they give customers a real sense of their product. This personal connection encourages brand trust. Our design team had the customer experience in mind for this Cole & Bright Candles display. Colour coordinated products appeal to a visually led consumer, while the candles at the top of the small wooden display shelves are easily accessed for touching, smelling, and, naturally, photographing. Here are four more examples of successful bespoke display cabinets we’ve produced, with tips to inspire your next retail project.
5. Get your branding in there, but do it subtly
If you’re creating an ‘Instagrammable’ space, you should definitely give a nod to your brand. Otherwise, your efforts may go unnoticed. But do it carefully: place subtle touches in your signage and displays, such as a logo or a branded hashtag. Finding a qualified manufacturer to design bespoke display cabinets can make a real difference to the way your products and brand identity is put out there. We’ve tackled the most challenging retail briefs and delivered creative displays that increase sales for three decades now - see more of what we do and get in touch to see how we can help you create an irresistible retail space for your business.